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  • John T. Polk II 7:07 am on 2014-07-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Proverbs, , ,   

    (#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.

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:17 am on 2014-07-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fleshly recreation, , , hasty in words, , , , , , Proverbs, , self-justified,   

    (#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.

     
  • John T. Polk II 6:00 am on 2014-07-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Proverbs, ,   

    (#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.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 pm on 2014-07-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , goverment, , , , , Proverbs,   

    (#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.

     
    • Jack Wirtz 12:20 pm on 2014-07-11 Permalink | Reply

      All that you say is true; for the rulers serve at the will of GOD to fulfill HIS purposes, and they will surely give answer to JEHOVAH for how they have judged. Since we do not, nor can we know the heart of man, David Lipscomb from that, and from the teachings concerning our relation to those that rule made a fair argument against voting.

      America great moral and spiritual decline is the product of a hundred years of false teaching. Her continuation in whatever form shall be at GOD’s pleasure, but regardless let us remain faithful to HIM that has called us. Be anxious about nothing taking nothing away from our zeal for The Lord.

      2Ti 3:1-4 But this know, that in [the] last days difficult times shall be there; for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, evil speakers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, profane, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, of unsubdued passions, savage, having no love for what is good, 4 traitors, headlong, of vain pretensions, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD…

  • John T. Polk II 7:54 am on 2014-07-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bloodthirsty, enmity, , interference, Proverbs, , , , , ,   

    (#194) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:8-10-We Didn’t Start The Fire 

    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 29:8-10: “Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath. 9 If a wise man contends with a foolish man, Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace. 10 The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being.”

    Who burns down the town, keeps things stirred up, and promotes hatred? NOT those who follow God’s Will, the “wise,” and “upright,” but the “scoffers,” “fools,” and “bloodthirsty.” A “scoffer” “acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24) and hates those who correct him (Proverbs 9:8). A “fool” “despises his father’s instruction” (Proverbs 15:5); starts quarrels (Proverbs 20:3); “trusts in his own heart (Proverbs 28:26); and “walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:14). Since “the devil” “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44), then “The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:6); who “shall not live out half their days” (Psalm 55:23); and “hate the blameless” (Proverbs 29:10).

    Wars of retaliation in the Middle East, violence approved and conducted by a religion, or fighting by forces of interference in other countries’ affairs, are all under the direction of the Devil! Only those who are in rebellion against God and His righteousness would “set a city aflame,” that is, hurt and destroy someone’s homeland. Arguing with “scoffers” and “fools” never settles the matter, which is why “Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And beatings for the backs of fools” (Proverbs 19:29).

    The answer to all the violence in the world is NOT United States “police action,” but the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus left His disciples with these assurances: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27); “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 6:33); and this was offered to the Gentiles “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all– that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:36-38).

    Jesus Christ said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16). So we boldly say to the scoffers, fools, and bloodthirsty people in this world: “Tear down this wall” by obeying Jesus Christ as Lord.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:08 am on 2014-07-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Proverbs, Restoration of Israel, , , Second Coming of Jesus Christ, ,   

    (#192) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:28-Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are 

    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 28:28: “When the wicked arise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.”

    It is a moral world turned upside-down when wickedness rules. It was when “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) that God destroyed the entire earth with a flood of water, preserving only the life in Noah’s ark (Genesis 7:11-24; 1 Peter 3:18-22).

    God promised to drive out the wicked inhabitants of the land He Promised to the Israelites with this explanation: “Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is  because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you” (Deuteronomy 9:4). When the Israelites became wicked, He drove them out of that land and then returned them after 70 years. “Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation” (Jeremiah 25:12); “’They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,’ says the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place'” (Jeremiah 27:22). This restoration to that land has already occurred (2 Chronicles 36:15-23; Ezra 1:1-11; Nehemiah 8:1-18)!

    Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will see that wickedness is once again destroyed: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:37-39; Acts 17:30-31).

    Before Solomon, David had recognized this truth: “The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Psalm 12:8).

    Other proverbs state this, even from the other side: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12); “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2); “When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall” (Proverbs 29:16).

    When the wicked rule, the righteous want no part of that administration, and “hide.” However, the righteous must let their voices continue to pray to God for relief, and continue to teach righteousness to all who will hear. Paul reminded the Thessalonians “that our coming to you was not in vain. 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. For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit. But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-4), and to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:7).

    “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so” (Psalm 107:2), and pray “that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:00 am on 2014-07-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Proverbs, , unborn, , womb   

    (#191) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:24-Robbing “The Greatest Generation” 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 28:24: “Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, ‘It is no transgression,’ The same is companion to a destroyer.”

    Respect for parents keeps civilization alive. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12) is repeated in the Law of Jesus Christ: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth’” (Ephesians 6:1-3). It is this endearing quality in humanity that is the backbone of an enduring society. In addition to our fathers passing along to us “life,” they should have “corrected us,” and we should have “paid them respect” (Hebrews 12:9). But the commandment honors both father “and mother!” A mother’s womb is a person’s first safe house where God develops it (Psalm 139:13-16), and while unborn, the baby has not done “any good or evil” (Romans 9:11). The “fruit of the womb” is our inheritance from God (Psalm 127:3), and only godless, vicious people would “have no pity on the fruit of the womb” (Isaiah 13:17-18).

    It’s too bad in our society, often it is honoring one or the other parent, or neither at all! Whether we break into their houses and rob their possessions, or stealing our time away from them, or letting greedy government take their earnings, when      and how do we honor our parents? Because they have lived through deprivation and destruction, they have been termed “the greatest generation.” But do they deserve our dereliction of duty to “honor” them? Not just that generation, but each generation that includes our parents deserves our “honor” and “respect.”

    The Israelite Nation rejected God’s Son (John 1:11-12), and their destruction also included what they had done at home: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Mark 13:12). What have we done to either protect or rob our parents? No child should dishonor its parent(s) and pass it off by saying “it is no transgression”—because it is! No society can last that disrespects its parents!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:00 am on 2014-07-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , forsake the law, , law of the land, , , Proverbs, speak out   

    (#190) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:4-Beware of the Law of the Land 

    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 28:4: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But such as keep the law contend with them.”

    The “lawless” (violators of God’s Will), will band together, pass laws of the land, and have Judges in courts which encourage the “lawless” to continue in their “lawlessness!” Those who “praise the wicked” when they continue in their “wickedness” are in complete conflict with God, Who “will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). God said through His Prophet, Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!” (Isaiah 5:20-23). People who call “evil” “good” don’t change God’s definitions of “evil” or “good!” People who “justify the wicked for a bribe” have their reward—the “bribe!” These are also those who “take away justice from the righteous man!” In other words, those who practice righteousness should not, and cannot, expect to receive praise, or justice, from the “wicked” who are justifying wickedness! When Jesus Christ walked the Earth: “the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:14-15).

    Those who “keep the law contend with them,” that is, are obligated to: 1) make clear to all what God’s Law says; 2) refuse to compromise that Law; 3) warn all men of the error of their ways. The Psalmist said: “You who love the LORD, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10). Before the world-wide flood of destruction in Noah’s day, God’s prophet, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). When Lot lived among sexual perverts in Sodom, he was “oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds” (2 Peter 2:7-8; Jude 7; Genesis 19:1-29). Christians must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:11-13).

    Christians cannot, must not: 1) just “get along” with those who disregard God’s Bible; nor 2) compromise their own righteousness so that the lawless people won’t notice them; nor 3) seek the accolades or approval of the lawless wicked! Jesus taught His Apostles: “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:27-28). And the Apostles taught Christians that “since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13), and this without fear: “most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:14). There never has been a better time for Christians to speak, or forever hold their peace!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:23 am on 2014-06-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Proverbs   

    (#189) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:3-Beware of the Merciless Poor 

    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 28:3: “A poor man who oppresses the poor Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.”

    “A driving rain” can wash away planted seeds, top soil, and even the crops, themselves. “A poor man who oppresses” is merciless and unforgiving to those like himself. Power or authority in the hands of one who hasn’t earned it is a weapon of mass destruction!

    Jesus Christ, who was “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42), best described this wisdom in Matthew 18:23-35: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:23-35). People have a tendency to not show pity to those who have sinned like they have, though their sin may have been worse! A “poor man” is harder and more impatient with other “poor” people because they are like he was. James warns us of this attitude: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).

    Anyone who knows what it is like to have sins forgiven (Mark 16:15-16) should know how to forgive others: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). We who have admitted our own sins before God should have compassion on others.

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 5:00 am on 2014-06-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Proverbs, , ,   

    (#188) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:2-For Which Leader Do You Vote? 

    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 28:2: “Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”

    A country, nation, and people who become corrupted by “transgression,” has frequent, often violent, turnovers in leaders. Solomon later said: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12). God spoke through Jeremiah and said, “‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it’” (Jeremiah 18:6-10). God’s case against Israel was because they followed their wicked king, instead of obeying God: “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:1-3). A nation that chooses corrupt leaders has chosen its own destruction!

    The only remedy is to turn to God and choose “a man of understanding and knowledge” so that “right will be prolonged.” Not all government leaders are to be followed if they abandon God: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:1-6). No concerted effort of “the kings of the earth” can overthrow God’s “King,” Jesus Christ, who now is on the throne of David in Heaven (Acts 2:25-32). Only a President and Congressional leaders who understand and know God’s Will can and should lead a country in the right way! It is by God’s Wisdom that “kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16).

    It is a wicked people who elect (and re-elect!) wicked leaders who justify their wickedness!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 6:00 am on 2014-06-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , dissatisfied, , , insatiable, , , , profits, Proverbs, ,   

    (#187) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:20-Enough Is 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 10:1-24:34 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 27:20: “Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

    The 19th James Bond movie title seems to express where this Proverb is going, “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). What the eye can see, the heart can covet, and covetousness is an always-open, never-filled hole which is easily dug in people’s hearts. Jesus taught this when He said: “‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing’” (Luke 12:15-23). Life is wasted when it is devoted to “more, more, and more!” If profit is not shared, but only invested in self, there is little satisfaction in that business! The hope for change drives the industries of: politics, fashion, amusements, advertising, education.

    Covetousness is being stirred up when: poorer people see what richer people have and want it for themselves without paying the price for it; when companies continue to raise profit levels for itself without an increase in quality, quantity, or service of their goods; government wants for itself more of what its citizens have earned; husbands and wives want other partners than God permits in a marriage; children are given things instead of love, and they want to start their independence with all the things their parents have worked for all their lives!

    Insatiable, dissatisfied, discontented, unhappy, and voracious, are some of the words that describe this attitude of heart. “Hell” (a.k.a. “the grave”) is never full, for there is always room for one more to die and be buried. “Destruction” (or the ruination of life) always claims another victim. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:6-10). If “the love of money” is our driving force in life, there is nothing but sorrow ahead! Doing right is the satisfying reward God gives to all who obey Him (Proverbs 19:23).

    The Book of Proverbs also says: “The leech has two daughters-Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, ‘Enough!’: The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water-And the fire never says, ‘Enough!’” (Proverbs 30:15-16). Each of these are fit pictures of the perpetual dissatisfaction in a covetous heart! Indeed “the proud man… does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples” (Habakkuk 2:5).

    Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

    When will you think “enough is enough?”

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

     
    • Don Ruhl 10:44 am on 2014-06-13 Permalink | Reply

      The Book of Proverbs is amazing. Thanks for your work in this valuable work of the Holy Spirit, as He delivers the wisdom of God to us through the writing of Solomon and others.

  • John T. Polk II 6:26 am on 2014-06-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Proverbs, , radar,   

    (#186) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:11-12-Use Your Radar 

    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 27:11-12: “My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me. A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; The simple pass on and are punished.”

    Radar (an acronym for radio detection and ranging first used in 1941) is an application of radio waves that extends human “sight” far beyond the range of the normal eye. It has use in trains, planes, automobiles, weather forecasting, cooking, space exploration, et. al. It has come to be associated with “an awareness, sensitivity, or foreboding of things to come.”

    According to the Bible, humans have access to moral “radar” that should be very helpful:

    1) The God Who Sees All. “The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works” (Psalm 33:13-15); “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3); and even in the New Testament: “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20). Whatever God commands, advises, or explains about the future result of human behavior should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

    2) Our Consciences. Everyone has been given by God an inner “radar” to sense whether a thought or action is right or wrong. This is not, by itself, a moral standard, for we can ignorantly violate God’s standard of righteousness while we have a “good conscience” (example, Saul of Tarsus killing Christians, Acts 9:1, with a “good conscience,” Acts 23:1); a conscience can become “evil” (Hebrews 10:22); or even “seared” (1 Timothy 4:1-3). When educated by studying God’s Word, however, a conscience can project ahead to sense whether a thought or action should be followed, for “the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). A “good conscience” lets us know we have done God’s Will even though others say we haven’t (1 Peter 3:16), and it won’t let us claim to be saved before we are baptized (1 Peter 3:21). Our Bible-oriented conscience should alert each of us to “watch out” for what is ahead.

    3) Our Prudence (or good judgment). Christians must use their good judgment (be prudent) by heeding the warning signs (God’s Word, consciences, experiences): “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). Regarding His Second Coming and destruction of the world, Jesus has said: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). There is NO “radar” for the exact “day nor the hour,” but the moral “radar” sweep should show us to be constantly prepared: “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6).

    “The simple” will “pass on and be punished.” Which are you? Use your “radar.”

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 3:47 am on 2014-06-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Proverbs, ,   

    (#185) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:8-Where Did You Find Greener Grass? 

    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 27:8: “Like a bird that wanders from its nest Is a man who wanders from his place.”

    “A bird that wanders from its nest” has no protection from predators, no provisions for its babies, and no purpose in life. The “nest” is an important base of operation to which a bird may return that gives it reasonable security. The idea of the bird that “wanders” is one that leaves its purpose to chase after insecure and dangerous ways.

    Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God asked His people: “Why do you gad about so much to change your way?” (Jeremiah 2:26). Surely this highlights a restlessness in humans that produces ruin.

    Since everything God Created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), why did Adam and Eve desire the only thing God didn’t give to them (Genesis 2:15-17)?

    Since God only made one woman to be married to one man (Genesis 2:22-24), why does an individual seek more than one spouse (Genesis 4:19; 28:9; John 4:16-18)?

    Since God only created humans to be “male and female” (Genesis 1:27), why would either physical, birth-sex try to become the other one, either by a surgical operation or by practice (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)?

    Since obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes a person “a new creation” (John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 5:17), why would anyone want to use that as an excuse for leaving spouse and children (1 Corinthians 7:16-24)?

    Since God specifies what spiritual sacrifices Christians must offer in worship (Hebrews 13:15-16; Colossians 3:16; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2), why would anyone think He would be pleased with anything else?

    Wandering away from God’s “nest” of rules never produces a better life. Jesus said He came “that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). There is no “other” gospel or variation of Jesus’ Gospel that is better than what we have in the Bible: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-10).

    The grass is never greener outside God’s commandments!

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:00 am on 2014-06-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , hungry, make Jesus sick, , Proverbs,   

    (#184) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:7-Are You Too Full To Eat? 

    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 27:7: “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

    When people are driven by hunger, it is surprising what they think is “sweet,” or tasty and edible, even something “bitter!” But when people feel full and “satisfied,” hardly anything would taste good, not even sweet “honeycomb!” Parents cannot make a child eat unless the child is hungry; food advertising is designed to create a sense of hunger; cultural dishes reflect how desperate the society was when the recipe was determined.

    This has tremendous spiritual application. After delivering the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, and providing for them 40 years in the Wilderness, God warned them as they entered The Promised Land: “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest-when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied”…”then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish ” (Deuteronomy 8:10-20). People who “have it good” don’t think they need God, but they do!

    The gravest danger to the church of Christ specifically, and America generally, is self-serving self-satisfaction and self-justification. People who have been convinced their own approval of religious practices is all that matters don’t seem to care whether God approves or not! They think they are “full” and even God’s blessings are not “sweet” enough to cause them to eat the Word of God! False preachers have convinced people they are saved before being baptized “into Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3), and they think they are full with salvation and don’t need the baptism that saves (1 Peter 3:21)!

    Jesus’ disciples, however, are those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), but those who make Him sick, say “‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). These sickening Christians don’t see the need to attend Bible classes, hear sermons with an open heart (Luke 24:27, 32), or strive to learn more of God’s Word through “diligence” (2 Timothy 2:15). Bible preachers, accurate worship services, faithful good deeds, Jesus Christ, Himself, cannot draw people who are “satisfied” without them! Jesus must be lifted above all “satisfied” people in order to “draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32).

    Are you drawn to Jesus by the Word of God?

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

     
  • John T. Polk II 7:03 am on 2014-06-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , jealous, , Proverbs,   

    (#183) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:4-Don’t Cross Flooding Water 

    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 27:4: “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?”

    These are emotions that can get out of control, and therefore are dangerous for humans. “Anger, wrath, malice” are forbidden to Christians. “Anger” is irritation boiling up; “wrath” is anger carried over the next day(s); “malice” is the intent to harm the one who has provoked the anger (Colossians 3:8). We can get “angry” but must not lose control and “sin” (Ephesians 4:26); “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20); “jealousy” is wounded trust which may never be recovered, and is understandable in a husband whose wife commits adultery (Proverbs 6:32-35).

    God is a “jealous God” (Exodus 20:4-6; Deuteronomy 6:14-19), because He expects those who agree to His covenant to be faithful in keeping their part of it. God is never out of control, but His “wrath” is against all who “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

    These are emotions in humans we should strive never to provoke, and “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). Followers of Jesus Christ know He said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). These are “emotions” of God that are avoided by our obedience to Him. “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16). Why cross a flooding water of emotions, now or forever?

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

     
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