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(#55) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:10-Pets R 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 10:1-24:34 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 12:10: “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

“A righteous man” listens to God’s Wisdom, and appreciates the world as the product of God’s mighty work: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and “God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25). Let us note, however, that God made humans to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Though a “righteous man” will “regard” his animal, he will also know the difference between a human and an animal! Animals are NOT human, too!

The best “the wicked” can offer (their “tender mercies”) “are cruel.” The cliché is true, that those who are cruel to animals as children are cruel to animals as adults, and cruel to humans, too. Those who disregard God’s care for animals will disrespect God’s care for humans, and vice versa. As one of God’s creatures, “natural brute beasts [are] made to be caught and destroyed” (2 Peter 2:12), but human beings are NOT!

God provided for animals to reproduce “according to its kind” (Genesis 1:25); when humanity was saved from a corrupted world in Noah’s ark, God included animals (Genesis 8:15-19); when God gave Israelites a “sabbath day,” He included the animals (Exodus 20:8-11); and the animals who were used to raise food were allowed to eat of that food (Deuteronomy 25:4)! God’s care for the animals He created will be reflected in a “righteous man” who is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-30). By-the-way, not muzzling the oxen but allowing them to be fed from their labors is applied to the support of Gospel Preachers (1 Corinthians 9:3-11). After quoting Deuteronomy 25:4, Paul asked, “Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?” Some brethren take better care of their animals and pets than they do of their Gospel Preacher! Such is not only disgraceful but damnable, as well! Care for animals was never intended to be greater than consideration for humans, especially Gospel Preachers, but was intended by God’s command to put “regard” into consideration for humans, hopefully to show them how to “regard” their fellow man!

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

#animals, #beasts, #bible-study, #cruel, #human-beings, #obedience, #pets, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #wicked

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(#50) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:30-31: The Results of a Good Life

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 11:30: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.”

The purpose of recognizing God’s blessings, receiving those blessings, and rendering blessings to others is to have a positive, spiritual effect on our part of the world. The “wise” will win souls, the unwise will not! The “righteous” will bear fruit, the unrighteous will remain barren! The purpose of each life should be to leave behind more righteousness in the world than there was before being born! Of course, Jesus Christ is essential to this success: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:4-8). To “win” a soul for Christ has made the ultimate conquest for good!

Proverbs 11:31: “If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner.”

The inspired commentary on this verse is from the Apostle Peter, who quoted this as a means of encouraging Christians who suffer affliction for the cause of Jesus Christ, and needed to know that the “ungodly and the sinner” have no comfort or strength to endure, by contrast. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear? Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Peter 4:17-19). When we obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) we trust our souls into the care of God, who will protect us eternally, as long as we remain in His care (1 Peter 2:11-12; 3:13-18; 5:6-7).

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

#bible-study, #branch, #fruit, #jesus-christ, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #salvation, #vine, #wisdom

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(#43) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:18-19- Do Not Be Deceived

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 11:18-19: “The wicked man does deceptive work, But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. 19 As righteousness leads to life, So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.”

Who is the most deceived when he is “wicked,” but the wicked? The wicked’s “work” is for nothing, since all the thrills of thinking that one has beaten the system; or the rules don’t apply to me; or God won’t condemn anyone; or God will be merciful to me; have absolutely no support from the Word of God! Other proverbs that uphold this teaching are: Proverbs 11:31: “If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the ungodly and the sinner;” Proverbs 12:2-3: “A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn. 3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved;” Proverbs 12:7: “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand;” Proverbs 12:21: “No grave trouble will overtake the righteous, But the wicked shall be filled with evil;” Proverbs 13:6:  “Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, But wickedness overthrows the sinner;” Proverbs 13:9: “The light of the righteous rejoices, But the lamp of the wicked will be put out;” Proverbs 13:25: “The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want;” Proverbs 14:14: “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above;” Proverbs 14:32: “The wicked is banished in his wickedness, But the righteous has a refuge in his death;” Proverbs 21:12: “The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.” The warning “do not be deceived,” meaning keep your eyes open to yourselves, or watch out, also occurs for Christians in the New Testament: sinners will not “inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); Christians can be corrupted by “evil company” (1 Corinthians 15:33); none will escape their works on the day of Judgment (Galatians 6:7-8); and no one is tempted into sin by God (James 1:13-16)! Just as surely as the righteous will receive the blessings of being righteous, the wicked will receive the “death” they have earned and deserve. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

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

#bible-study, #deceitful-work, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #wicked, #wisdom

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(#36) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:7-8-Why “Beg Trouble?”

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 11:7: “When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes.”

The “expectation,” or “hope,” of a “wicked man” is driven by worldly lust and greed. Death slams the door on those expectations. Jesus described it thusly: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully…[so he said to himself] ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry’” (Luke 12:15-20). Job asked the question: “For what is the hope of the hypocrite, Though he may gain much, If God takes away his life?” (Job 27:8) If life in this world is all there is to hope for, that is, “If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). The righteous, however, have hope beyond this life: “The house of the wicked will be overthrown, But the tent of the upright will flourish” (Proverbs 14:11).

Proverbs 11:8: “The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.”

Often, people focus on bad things that happen to good people, and ignore the times when bad people end up being punished by the very things they intended to do to the good people! Another proverb says: “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him” (Proverbs 26:27). Some Bible examples of God sparing the righteous and punishing the wicked in their own snare are: the Egyptian Pharaoh’s army vanquished in the Red Sea they thought trapped the Israelites (Exodus 14); Haman, the Agagite, was hanged on his own gallows instead of Mordecai, and Esther saved the Jews (Esther 7-9); government officials thrown in the lions’ den Daniel had been spared from (Daniel 6); soldiers’ lives taken after Peter released from prison (Acts 12:1-19). Truly “the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).

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

#bad-things-happen-to-bad-people, #bible-study, #god, #good-people-spared, #greed, #hope, #hypocrite, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteous, #wicked, #wisdom, #worldly-lust

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Psalm 142 From the Depth of Despair

This Psalm of David may well have been written from the cave of Adullam, while King Saul pursued him to kill him (1 Samuel 22:1).

Verses 1-3 picture the “caveman” mindset;

Verses 4-7 show the difference between refuge and prison.

Verses 1-3: “Cry out” indicates his desperate situation, “supplication” is a prayer presenting a problem to God, but asking for help with it. David’s “complaint” is not with God, but a presentation of his “trouble” that he would “pour out.” David’s “spirit was overwhelmed within” him, more than once (Psalm 61:2; 77:3; 143:4). This perfectly expresses what we all feel like sometimes when life is too much to handle! Jesus shows how not to let this get to us. “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).

Verses 4-7: Before David’s men gathered to him, he knew “no one who acknowledges” him, his insecurity noted that “refuge has failed” him. In complete despair, he said: “No one cares for my soul.” Jesus reached this moment, for on His way to the cross, “they all forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50). Paul had this moment, for he said: “At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:16). The common thread woven through these faithful men is the LORD never left them: David “cried out to You, O LORD” (Psalm 142:5); “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46); “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17). God was David’s “portion in the land of the living.” As long as David was alive, God was with him. When “persecutors” seem “stronger than I,” never forget God, for He never forgets us. Life can become our “prison,” but once released from this “very low” time, we are freed to “praise” God, and enjoy the fellowship of the “righteous” who “shall surround” us. God abundantly blesses those faithful to Him. Joseph was released from a dungeon through God’s gift of interpretation of dreams (Genesis 39-41); Samson through his renewed covenant strength (Judges 16:21-31); Jesus releases people from their prison of sin (Isaiah 42:5-7; Luke 4:14-21); the Apostles were set free to preach Jesus (Acts 5:17-25). Everyone who remains faithful to God in whatever prison they find themselves, must learn they are not alone.

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #cave, #daily-bible-reading, #despair, #faith, #god, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #overwhelmed, #prison, #righteous

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Psalm 92

Vs.1-4 give praise to God;

Vs. 5-9 remark about God’s wisdom in dealing with enemies;

Vs. 10-15 observe God’s refreshing for the righteous.

There is no historical setting, therefore no certain author for this Psalm. It is unchallenged, however, for its inclusion in the Book of Psalms.

Verses 1-4: Among the 23 times the phrase “sing praises” (verse 1) occurs in the Book of Psalms, the one that is quoted in the New Testament is Psalm 18:49 (in Romans 15:9). There it refers to “singing” and not playing instruments with the singing (refer back to Psalm 18:49 in these studies). Thus, by the inspired use of this phrase by the Apostle Paul, it would be natural to conclude that Psalm 92:1 should also mean “sing praises” to the “Most High.” His “lovingkindness in the morning,” and “faithfulness every night” (verse 2) show that 24/7, there is not a time He is not responsive to His faithful people. If the instruments (verse 3) are correctly translated, they were introduced to Old Testament worship by David (2 Chronicles 29:26-27); if these should be instructions to the singers, instead, this is no authority for musical instruments in the passage; regardless, nothing in this verse is authorized in the New Testament for Christian worship. God’s Creation is a marvel to be praised (verse 4).

Verses 5-9: God’s “thoughts” (verse 5) are embedded in all He does. The Creation shows such planning, foresight, and intricacy that it has taken the several thousand years since it began for humans to “discover” some of what was in it all the time! “Wisdom” was with God in the Creation (Proverbs 8:1, 22-31), and for Evolutionists to extoll chaos and chance instead of God’s wisdom is purely blasphemy and profanity! Indeed, the “senseless,” “fool” (verse 6), “wicked,” “workers of iniquity” (verse 7) may “flourish” on earth, they are to be “destroyed forever.” God is NOT “the force” IN the Creation, He is the Deity over and above the Creation (verse 8; Acts 14:14-17), who’s enemies will “perish” and be “scattered” as in Matthew 25:31-33 describes (verse 9).

Verses 10-15: By contrast, the faithful are blessed with: “horn” (or strength), and selection by anointing (verse 10); “eyes” and “ears” (verse 11) that witness their enemies’ destruction. “The righteous” flourish like “a palm,” “a cedar” (verse 12), “planted in the house of the LORD” (verse 13), bearing good fruit throughout old age (verse 14), who can declare “the LORD is upright,” “rock,” with “no unrighteousness” (verse 15).

THOUGHT: When the wicked people flourish on earth, it is easy to overlook the righteous who also flourish, AND, not to notice the promise of God that the wicked will perish.

ALSO: “LORD” (Hebrew, Jehovah) is used 7 times, a number that often signifies completeness of God’s work. Hence this Psalm could be God’s final, complete statement of His disposition of Good and Evil.

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

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #judgment, #righteous, #sing-praise, #workers-of-iniquity

Re: Day 18 — Psalm 1:4

I have said several times, and recently, somewhere, that the church appears, from a human standpoint, as a fragile thing, on the verge of being blown away at any moment by the slightest wind. Both saints and the good works of the kingdom seem to exist on the precipice of destruction.

This is true, however, not of God’s people, who show their metal under trials and persecutions, but of the wicked. So says the psalmist.

Not so with the wicked! Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.
Psalm 1:4 NET

With a puff, the wicked are gone. The righteous are the stable ones, and the difference is attitude toward God’s law. The stabilizer is laser focus on the word of God.

Perhaps those churches who have nice buildings, full-time staff with nice titles, elders with years of experience, and a long, proud history may not feel the tentativeness in the work that I feel, where we move from place to place, have no one working full-time, lack qualified men to serve as elders, and started yesterday, relatively speaking, in this effort.

We feel how the work suffers when someone turns from the Way, when the seed falls on rocky soil, when persecution thins the ranks, when sickness lays low a saint and death take precious friends. (Does anyone else feel this?)

Yet, still, for all the apparent weakness and the tenuousness of our efforts and our very lives, we are not the ones to be swept away by the elements. After the storm, we still stand. Gone are the wicked. Because they pretend strength by their own power, but we hold to the Lord.

So will we hold until the end.

#power, #psalms, #righteous, #strength, #wicked

What Has Christ Done?

There are many people who have heard lessons on what Christ has done for us, but none is clearer than the one in 1 Corinthians 1:30.

Paul wrote, “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin, (1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT). Notice the component parts and how clear Paul’s lesson is.

God has united you with Christ Jesus.” Through baptism, we have been united with Christ into his death (Romans 6:3). When the apostle  uses the phrase, “in Christ,” as he does in most all of his writings, it is with this idea. The meaning “in” is “within the sphere of influence of.”  United with Christ, we live within his sphere of his influence.

For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself.” The Corinthians had based their idea of wisdom on something that was less than true. Christ is the true wisdom, not human thinking. It was Plato who taught that we have all the knowledge we need at birth; all we need do is “recollect” it. How foolish!

Christ made us right with God;” Upon our obedience to the gospel of Christ, we became justified by faith, and reconciled to God. Nothing else could do that.

he made us pure and holy…” Our sins were washed away in his blood (Revelation 7:14). Christ Jesus was the only perfect sacrifice that could do this. We were filthy in our sins. While ours may not have been a physical impurity, it was a spiritual one. Jesus made us clean.

and he freed us from sin.” Again, this from Romans, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin,” (Romans 6:6, 7).

The Lord Christ has done much more for us, but it is wonderful to think of these wonderful things, isn’t it?

#righteous, #sanctification, #wisdom

God's goodness

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it has been said.

My mother used to get terribly angry when I imitated her instructions to me. It was not done from a mocking or demeaning manner, but because imitating her was fun. Usually, my attempts were met with a swift, “Just you wait until your father gets home!”

The disciple Jesus loved wrote, “Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God.(2 John 11 NET).

One of the attributes of God is goodness. Apart from God, man has no idea what good is. Some believe that whatever works is good; some think if it feels good, do it.

The example of God’s goodness in the Bible is the supreme definition of what is good. The reason this is true is because God is righteous and just. God always does what is right, contrary to what worldly people think.

Celebrated atheist Richard Dawkins called God “the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a pretty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser…” /[1]

Dawkins woefully misunderstands God. He looks at the Old Testament through tainted eyes, seeing only what he wishes to see to prove his point.

God gives to all time and opportunity to repent. Dawkins failed to notice one of the Old Testament greatest examples of God’s love in the book of Jonah. God gave the Ninevites time to repent and sent Jonah to warn them. They did repent and avoided the justice of God.

God has treated all humanity as a father treats his children. “God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?” the writer of Hebrews asked (Hebrews 12:8). God attempts to correct before he metes out justice. In both, he always shows his great goodness.

God’s attribute of goodness is an example worth imitating. None of us are ever going to imitate it perfectly, but we still need to make an attempt because we should want to do as the apostle instructs, “the one who does good is of God.”


[1]/”The God Delusion,” by Richard Dawkins, e-book.

#good, #imitation-of-god, #righteous

Would we miss them?

I recently wrote (and submitted) two “letters to the editor” in area newspapers. Reading Isaiah 57:1-2, I was unable to go further in my reading without reflecting on those letters I wrote. Isaiah’s words are a lament and a bit of reassurance.

When one passes from this life into the next there is mourning, but does the world lament a righteous man’s passing? No doubt some do, and many will miss the influence of the righteous in this dark world. But in the “world’s bucket” the righteous man who passed is merely a drop in the bucket. Maybe it would be good to ponder on the many righteous people who pass, how much would the world then miss?

#death, #righteous