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(#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.

#bible-study, #bloodthirsty, #enmity, #fool, #interference, #proverbs, #scoffer, #united-states, #violence, #wall, #wars, #wisdom

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(#166) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:8-9-The Road To Hell Is Paved With Bad Intentions

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 24:8-9: “He who plots to do evil Will be called a schemer. The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men.”

Plotting “to do evil,” and “devising of foolishness” describe one whose heart is captivated by wickedness. These were the people God destroyed in Noah’s flood (Genesis 6:5-8), in Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 13:14; 19:4-5; Ezekiel 16:49-50), in the wilderness wandering (Joshua 5:6), and will be destroyed on the Judgment Day to come (Matthew 7:13-29). This is the corrupted heart of worldly people from which Jesus Christ saves (Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:2-4) by obedience to His Gospel (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). It is bad enough for one’s heart to “scheme” (plan, plot, or devise) evil, but “the scoffer” is the wicked person who is willing to attack righteousness and the righteous with false charges, denials, and ridicule. “A proud and haughty man –‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24). Scoffers should be considered “an abomination to men” because they create confusion, wickedness, and distrust in those who would otherwise confidently follow God’s Will (Philippians 1:3-7; Hebrews 3:5-6; 10:35-39).

This has NOTHING WHATEVER to do with honest, righteous, godly Christians who, though striving to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), may sin through temptation and weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:26; Hebrews 4:15). Another proverb says: “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity” (Proverbs 24:16). The righteous person who stumbles and sins will “repent and pray” that God will forgive that sin (Acts 8:12-13, 22; 1 John 1:7-10), but the wicked person who has no intention of obeying Jesus Christ for forgiveness has absolutely no prospect of forgiveness (Mark 16:16; Ezekiel 18:21-29).

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

#abomination, #arrogant-pride, #bible-study, #corrupted-heart, #godly-christians, #proverbs, #righteous, #schemer, #scoffer

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(#132) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:6-7-I Dare You

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 18:6-7: “A fool’s lips enter into contention, And his mouth calls for blows. 7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.”

Reckless challenges are foolish enough (“I dare you to…”), but to dare someone to increase punishment is also senseless! A “fool’s” words: [1] start with “contention;” [2] escalate to “blows;” [3] brings self-“destruction;” [4] jeopardizes his/her own “soul.”

[1] Whether overcome by drugs or liquor, the heat of the moment, arrogance or ignorance, it is a “fool” who starts “contention.” Contentions are the aggravations that light the fires of fury, NOT honest investigations resulting in understanding truth. Christians must “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23). Scoffers deny truth and cause meaningless contentions. “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:3). “It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).

[2] The challenge to fight is usually accepted, and to what purpose? Violence never proved the truth of an argument! It is true that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Elders in the churches of Christ must not “be quarrelsome,” i.e. not quick to fight (1 Timothy 3:2-3)! Wisdom should rule in such situations: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

[3] The “fool” is just asking for more pain, heartache, and deprivation, and will probably get it!

[4] Eternal damnation hangs in the balance, for Jesus Christ taught: “that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The rest of us need to back away from every fool whose mouth is asking to be stopped!

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

#bible-study, #contention, #fight, #fool, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #quarrel, #scoffer, #wisdom

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(#79) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:6-God’s Word To The “Me” 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 14:6: “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands.”

The term “scoffer” describes an attitude toward truth: derision, scorn. Job expressed to his friends, “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2) Everyone who thinks their opinion is superior to all sources of truth, will fail, now and forever: “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 18:12); “A haughty look, a proud heart, And the plowing of the wicked are sin” (Proverbs 21:4). Against the haughtiness of Babylon, God decreed, “I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). An over-inflated ego: in a child, rejects parental correction (“disobedient to parents,” “headstrong,” “haughty,” 2 Timothy 3:1-5); in a “scientist,” ignores evidence for Noah’s Flood (2 Peter 3:3-7); in  wealthy people, refuse to trust in God (1 Timothy 6:17); in researchers, reject evidence for God’s existence (Romans 1:18-21); and in religious leaders, refuse to listen to Jesus Christ (Luke 16:14). “Scoffers” do not ask questions to learn truth, but to test the Teacher (Matthew 16:1; 19:3; 22:35)!

Other proverbs show how dangerous this attitude really is: “He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy” (Proverbs 17:21); “Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge” (Proverbs 19:25); “When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise; But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge” (Proverbs 21:11); “A proud and haughty man –‘Scoffer’ is his name; He acts with arrogant pride” (Proverbs 21:24); “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; Yes, strife and reproach will cease” (Proverbs 22:10); “The devising of foolishness is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men” (Proverbs 24:9). According to these: no father should be happy a child is a scoffer; hitting a scoffer only has a sobering, “wise up” effect on other sinners; scoffers only listen to that which inflates their pride, haughtiness, and arrogance; scoffers are the cause of contention, strife, and reproach; and scoffers are to be despised of men.

“Knowledge is easy” for anyone willing to learn. Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Evidence for God is easily seen everywhere in His Creation, and the Identity of God is evident throughout His Scriptures. “For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary” (Psalm 96:4-6). Don’t listen to “scoffers,” who willfully reject all avenues of truth, but rather listen to God whose Truth is easily found. Even idolaters may “seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

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

#arrogance, #bible-study, #derision, #haughty, #practical-lessons, #proud, #proverbs, #scoffer, #scorn, #wisdom

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(#51) The Proverbs of Solomon 12:1-How to Raise “Stupid”

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 12:1: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.”

Instruction limits a person if followed, thus “instruction” is discipline, correction, or counsel. True “knowledge” comes to those who are willing to learn by “instruction. A good student knows the thirst for “knowledge,” and Jesus Christ emphasized this: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  Every schoolteacher will tell you, there is no learning where there is no discipline. Parents who raise their children’s egos above their desire for learning are making their children “stupid” (brutish, like an animal, with unused human ingenuity). Animal intelligence is content to be that animal, and, like an ox, may kick against the goad, or refuse any instruction to follow! “A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, But knowledge is easy to him who understands. Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge” (Proverbs 14:6-7). Don’t hang around those who are “stupid” because they “hate correction” (or despise the discipline of knowledge!), and “stupid” rubs off! “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Children who are taught disrespect for teachers, and disdain for knowledge, are raised to be nothing but a herd of slaves!

Other proverbs that teach this thought are: Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise;” Proverbs 13:1: “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke;” Proverbs 13:18: “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored;” Proverbs 15:5: “A fool despises his father’s instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent;” Proverbs 15:10: “Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die;” Proverbs 15:12: “A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, Nor will he go to the wise;” Proverbs 15:31-32: “The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. 32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.”

There is a saying in the Medical Profession: “There is no cure for stupid.” Fighting against learning shows determination to remain ignorant, and nothing could be more ignorant!

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

#animal-intelligence, #bible-study, #disdain, #disrespect, #ignorant, #knowledge, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #scoffer, #student, #stupid, #wisdom