2620.) Proverbs 25

May 17, 2019

Pr 25 apples of goldProverbs 25   (NIV)

More Proverbs of Solomon

These are more proverbs of Solomon, compiled by the men of Hezekiah king of Judah:

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

“He would not be God,” said Thomas Cartwright, “if His counsels and works did not transcend human intelligence.”

As the heavens are high and the earth is deep,
    so the hearts of kings are unsearchable.

Remove the dross from the silver,
    and a silversmith can produce a vessel;
remove wicked officials from the king’s presence,
    and his throne will be established through righteousness.

Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence,
    and do not claim a place among his great men;
7 it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,”
    than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.

Pr25 walk humbly

Luke 14:8-10   (NLT)

When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited?  The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

“Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

What you have seen with your eyes
    do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
    if your neighbor puts you to shame?

If you take your neighbor to court,
    do not betray another’s confidence,
10 or the one who hears it may shame you
    and the charge against you will stand.

11 Like apples of gold in settings of silver
    is a ruling rightly given.

by Laurie Nelson

“Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver #2”  by Laurie Nelson

Barb and I sat at the corner table of a French restaurant in Laguna Beach, California on an August evening. It was our 25th wedding anniversary. Sublime dessert had followed exquisite meal, and our occasional glances out the large window facing the sea turned into lengthy stares as we watched the sun slide gently into the Pacific.

Twilight descended on the bay, and Barb said she had a gift for us. She handed me a packet of envelopes wrapped in a silver ribbon. On the top envelope she had written Thanks, and inside was a white card on which she had written something about our relationship over the years for which she wanted to thank me (“for the maps you make to help me find my way”). I read it, and we talked about it for a minute or two. “Your turn,” she said. I thought of something to thank her for (“for following me to new cities and new jobs that were my idea”), wrote it on the back of the card, gave it to her, and we talked about that for another few minutes.

The second envelope said I Appreciate. Same procedure—open, read (“that your feet are on the ground; your sense of perspective”), talk . . . my turn (“your vision that goes beyond common sense”). Then followed Early Memories, Joys, Shocks, Fun Times, another Thanks, another I Appreciate . . . 25 envelopes in all, 25 cards, 50 words aptly spoken . . . some of them with such a lump in my throat that they could scarcely, I’m sure, be heard across our small table. Every word was positive, affirming, genuine, loving . . . apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Years have passed. More anniversary dinners and gifts have been shared. The one we remember, however, is the one in Laguna where we recalled good times and spoke words of appreciation and thanks to one another. No gift has ever meant more to me.

The world is full of shouting. There is a surplus of criticism and sarcasm. Even good relationships strong enough to bear harsh words will benefit from times in which we speak tenderly to one another. Find opportunities to express gratitude. Take a moment to recall together a fun experience you shared. Intentionally . . . thoughtfully . . . offer occasional words of affirmation or appreciation. You are giving apples of gold.

–Dr. Michael A. Halleen

_________________________

Music:

Psalm 19:14 (KJV)

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Philippians 4:8   (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

HERE  is Fernando Ortega and “Let the words of my mouth.”

_________________________

12 Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
    is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.

13 Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time
    is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him;
    he refreshes the spirit of his master.
14 Like clouds and wind without rain
    is one who boasts of gifts never given.

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
    and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

16 If you find honey, eat just enough—
    too much of it, and you will vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—
    too much of you, and they will hate you.

“Blessed be God, there is no need of this caution and reserve in our approach to him. Once acquainted with the way of access, there is no wall of separation. Our earthly friend may be pressed too far; kindness may be worn out by frequent use. But never can we come to our heavenly Friend unseasonably.”

–Charles Bridges

18 Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
    is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
19 Like a broken tooth or a lame foot
    is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.
20 Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
    or like vinegar poured on a wound,
    is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

 Some people and their actions are especially troublesome. They bring discomfort (like leaving one without a garment in cold weather) and constant agitation (like vinegar on soda).

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you.

Pr25 Romans 12.21

“Burning coals on his head” — Commentators debate if this is a good things or a harsh thing, if this is something good in the eyes of your enemy or not. Most likely refers to a burning conviction that our kindness places on our enemy. Or, some think it refers to the practice of lending coals from a fire to help a neighbor start his or her own—an appreciated act of kindness. Either way, we can destroy our enemy by making him our friend, and the Lord will reward you.

–David Guzik

23 Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain
    is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

24 Better to live on a corner of the roof
    than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Clearly, a difficult husband is similarly trying.

25 Like cold water to a weary soul
    is good news from a distant land.

The gospel is God’s good news from a far country—heaven.  Like cold water to a thirsty soul, the gospel is refreshing and thirst quenching.

–William MacDonald

26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted well
    are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

27 It is not good to eat too much honey,
    nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.

“Certainly the noblest conquests are gained or lost over ourselves. The first outbreak of anger resulted in murder. A king’s lack of watchfulness about lust resulted in adultery.”

–Charles Bridges

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
Proverbs 25:11.   http://gotfruitblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/proverbs-25-11-20090314.png
Micah 6:8.   http://catholicpittsburgh.org/images/Micah6-8.gif
Nelson.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/pr25-nelson.jpg
hospitality.   https://jenniferdukeslee.com/a-place-at-the-table-how-to-do-simple-hospitality/hospitality/
Romans 12:21.   https://www.pinterest.ch/pin/168603579771824865/
self control.  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Education-Self-Control-Lesson-and-Printables-2976537
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2575.) Proverbs 24

March 15, 2019

Pr24 Ephesians 4-32

Proverbs 24   (NRSV)

Do not envy the wicked,
nor desire to be with them;
for their minds devise violence,
and their lips talk of mischief.

By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.

Pr24 library

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

–Jorge Luis Borges

Wise warriors are mightier than strong ones,
and those who have knowledge than those who have strength;
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
Wisdom is too high for fools;
in the gate they do not open their mouths.

Whoever plans to do evil
will be called a mischief-maker.
The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to all.

10 If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength being small;
11 if you hold back from rescuing those taken away to death,
those who go staggering to the slaughter;
12 if you say, “Look, we did not know this”—
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it?
And will he not repay all according to their deeds?

Pr24 take a stand

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a time of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality.”

–Dante

13 My child, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, you will find a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

15 Do not lie in wait like an outlaw against the home of the righteous;
do no violence to the place where the righteous live;
16 for though they fall seven times, they will rise again;
but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

Pr24 falling down

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

–Winston Churchill

17 Do not rejoice when your enemies fall,
and do not let your heart be glad when they stumble,
18 or else the Lord will see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from them.

19 Do not fret because of evildoers.
Do not envy the wicked;
20 for the evil have no future;
the lamp of the wicked will go out.

21 My child, fear the Lord and the king,
and do not disobey either of them;
22 for disaster comes from them suddenly,
and who knows the ruin that both can bring?

Further Sayings of the Wise

23     These also are sayings of the wise:

Partiality in judging is not good.
24 Whoever says to the wicked, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations;
25 but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
26 One who gives an honest answer
gives a kiss on the lips.

Pr24 the_kiss

“We kiss and I feel like a millionaire.”

–Ali Harris

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Faith Hill and “This Kiss.”

_________________________

27 Prepare your work outside,
get everything ready for you in the field;
and after that build your house.

28 Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause,
and do not deceive with your lips.
29 Do not say, “I will do to others as they have done to me;
I will pay them back for what they have done.”

30 I passed by the field of one who was lazy,
by the vineyard of a stupid person;
31 and see, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want, like an armed warrior.

Pr24 ant-n-grasshopper“Idleness brings want.”

–Aesop

_________________________

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)    New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
Ephesians 4:32.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/ephesians4-32.png
library.    http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-best-places-to-be-if-you-love-books
take a stand.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/takestand_web.jpg
Failure isn’t falling down.   http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd5/lilmissmontana/scripture/Proverbs/ajustmanfallethseventimesandrisesagainProverbstwentyfoursixteen.gif
The Kiss, Times Square, 1945.    http://eintech.blogspot.com/2012/11/world-famous-photographs.html#.XHl94LpKiUk
the ant and the grasshopper.    http://jokeapart.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/ant-n-grasshopper.png

2555.) Proverbs 23

February 15, 2019

Proverbs 23   (NIV)

When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

“It is a shame for a saint to be a slave to his palate. Isaac loved venison too, too well.”

–John Trapp

Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them.

–Napoleon Bonaparte

He who multiplies riches, multiplies cares.

–Benjamin Franklin

Riches have wings.

–King Solomon

Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;
for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.

Do not speak to a fool,
for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.

To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.
– Wilson Mizner

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert’s advice.
– James Callaghan

“Be yourself” is about the worst advice you can give to some people.
– J B Priestley

Unruly ambition is deaf, not only to the advice of friends, but to the counsels and monitions of reason itself.
– Sir Roger L’Estrange

When your mother asks, ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.
– Erma Bombeck

10 Do not move an ancient boundary stone
or encroach on the fields of the fatherless,
11 for their Defender is strong;
he will take up their case against you.

Do not remove the ancient landmark: Literally, the ancient landmark was normally a stone marker for a property line. Moving the landmark was a way to make your field bigger and to steal from your neighbor. Symbolically, the ancient landmark was a tradition or custom from ancestors.

–David Guzik

12 Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge.

“There is no easy way to gain instruction. It requires discipline and application. Disregard the ads that promise it in ‘three easy lessons.'”

–William MacDonald

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
14 Punish him with the rod
and save his soul from death.

15 My son, if your heart is wise,
then my heart will be glad;
16 my inmost being will rejoice
when your lips speak what is right.

3 John 1:4  (ESV)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
18 There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.

19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.

23 Buy the truth and do not sell it;
get wisdom, discipline and understanding.
24 The father of a righteous man has great joy;
he who has a wise son delights in him.
25 May your father and mother be glad;
may she who gave you birth rejoice!

26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes keep to my ways,
27 for a prostitute is a deep pit
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait,
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.

Quick.  Give me 10 men, off the top of your head, who you know or who have been in the news in a negative light because of illicit affairs.

Now, isn’t it telling that coming up with that list is so easy to do?

Who says the Bible is old and out-dated?

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaints?
Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?

30 Those who linger over wine,
who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
31 Do not gaze at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly!
32 In the end it bites like a snake
and poisons like a viper.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights
and your mind imagine confusing things.
34 You will be like one sleeping on the high seas,
lying on top of the rigging.
35 “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it!
When will I wake up
so I can find another drink?”

Yet there is hope in Jesus for the drunkard and drug addict. “Is anything too hard for the Lord? May his name be praised for a full deliverance from the enslavement to sin—to all sins and to every individual sin—and even from the chains of this giant sin. The drunkard becomes sober, the unclean holy, the glutton temperate. The love of Christ overpowers the love of sin.”

–Charles Bridges

_________________________

Music:

Don’t those last few verses sound like song you have heard on the country music station?! Here’s Johnny Cash singing Kris Kristoffersen’s classic “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” Can’t say the lyrics are particularly edifying but they prove the point of the last few verses of this chapter of Proverbs, and it’s Johnny Cash! Click  HERE  to listen!

Or you may prefer something more edifying.  HERE  is Pat Barrett and “Hymn of the Holy Spirit,” asking for divine guidance in all of life.

_________________________

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
My child, listen . . .    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/508343876661102242/
wealth delusion.     https://apmgoldbulliondealers.com/precious-metals-blog
advice.    http://www.funnyjunksite.com/pictures/funny-advice-pictures/always-listen-to-good-advice/
boundary line.   https://minutemansignsinc.com/shop/square-boundary-marking-posted-sign/
Listen to your father . . .   http://oneyearbibleimages.com/proverbs23_22.jpg
Men in the news for sexual misconduct.    https://www.necn.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/The-Powerful-Men-Accused-of-Sexual-Harassment-452785093.html
drunk.   http://smartsayingsfortoday.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/drunk-with-wine-bottle.jpg

2515.) Proverbs 22

December 21, 2018

Proverbs 22   (NRSV)

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.

Ecclesiastes 7:1   (NLT)

A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.

*****

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”

–William Shakespeare, Othello

The rich and the poor have this in common:
the Lord is the maker of them all.
The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.

1 Peter 5:10   (NIV)

 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
the cautious will keep far from them.
Train children in the right way,
and when old, they will not stray.

I learned this verse decades ago in the King James Version:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

“What is the way in which a child should go? A more literal rendering of the Hebrew at once answers this question. Such translation would be: ‘Train up child according to his way.’In every child there are special and peculiar powers. The true business of training a child therefore, is that of discovering what those powers are, and developing them…Herein is revealed the need for individual work. No two children are alike.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Consumer debt in the USA

The survey, conducted in 2016, found that the average card debt was $5,700 for households that carry a balance – 38 percent of all households.

—www.creditcards.com

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of anger will fail.
Those who are generous are blessed,
for they share their bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife goes out;
quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 Those who love a pure heart and are gracious in speech
will have the king as a friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy person says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”

In his imagination, the outside world and the work required to function in it are so frightening that it is best avoided. 

14 The mouth of a loose woman is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry falls into it.

 “Unlike the sluggard’s fantasy of a man-eating lion roaming the city streets, these harlots are very real deadly predators in the streets.”

–Bruce K. Waltke

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a boy,
but the rod of discipline drives it far away.


16 Oppressing the poor in order to enrich oneself,
and giving to the rich, will lead only to loss.

The Words of the Wise

Proverbs 22:17 begins a new section of the collection. We move from the long section (Proverbs 10:1 through 22:16) containing almost entirely two-phrase wisdom sayings with very little arrangement according to theme or context. Starting here, the structure of the wisdom sayings is often longer and they are more arranged according to some theme.

–David Guzik

17 Incline your ear and hear my words,
and apply your mind to my teaching;

Mark 4:23   (NLT)

“Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today—yes, to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of admonition and knowledge,
21 to show you what is right and true,
so that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

22 Do not rob the poor because they are poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate;
23 for the Lord pleads their cause
and despoils of life those who despoil them.

Matthew 19:21   (NIV)

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

24 Make no friends with those given to anger,
and do not associate with hotheads,
25 or you may learn their ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.

Quotes about angry people:

People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.

–Stephen Hawking

Anybody can become angry–that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way–that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.

–Aristotle

Getting angry doesn’t solve anything.

–Grace Kelly

26 Do not be one of those who give pledges,
who become surety for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not remove the ancient landmark
that your ancestors set up.
29 Do you see those who are skillful in their work?
They will serve kings;
they will not serve common people.

_________________________

Music:

Sometimes there is just no song like an old song. And we know there is no singer like Mahalia Jackson.  HERE  is “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

_________________________

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Chambers.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/chambers.jpg
Hello.   https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/science-small-talk/201207/whats-in-name?amp=
debt.   http://blog.ericlbachcpa.com/public/item/possible-solutions-for-an-unexpected-tax-bill
verse 11.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/00/a9/55/00a95550c951c79a8750a858f32de91d.jpg
spanking.   http://www.duhaime.org/Portals/duhaime/images/spanking2.jpg
homeless family.    http://newsjunkiepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/4916397425_5397ef821c_b-448×303.jpg
angry face.   https://emojiisland.com/products/very-angry-emoji-icon

2503.) Proverbs 21

December 5, 2018

Proverbs 21 (NIV)

 1 In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water
that he channels toward all who please him.

“As a farmer channels the water where he wants and regulates its flow, so does the Lord with the king. No human ruler, then, is supreme; or, to put it another way, the Lord is truly the King of kings.”

–Alan Ross

1 Timothy 2:1

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

2 A person may think their own ways are right,
but the LORD weighs the heart.

3 To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Animal sacrifice was a way to walk in right relationship with God – what might be called our vertical relationship. God here says that how we treat others is more important than how we perform religious ceremonies such as sacrifice. This was the truth missed by the priest and the Levite in Jesus’s story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-36).

–David Guzik

4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart—
the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.

5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.

6 A fortune made by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.

Here is a recent example of the truth of this verse. Bernie Madoff is the former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market board of directors, and the admitted operator of a Ponzi scheme that is considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. His older son, unable to bear the shame of his father’s deeds, committed suicide. He is currently serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina. 

7 The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.

8 The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

10 The wicked crave evil;

“An important truth about depravity: men can sin not merely from weakness but eagerly and ruthlessly.”

–Derek Kidner

“Here is a graphic picture of Satan himself! He not only does evil – he craves evil. Here we see that evil is natural to the wicked, for it is in their nature.”

–Charles Bridges

their neighbors get no mercy from them.

11 When a mocker is punished, the simple gain wisdom;
by paying attention to the wise they get knowledge.

12 The Righteous One takes note of the house of the wicked
and brings the wicked to ruin.

13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor
will also cry out and not be answered.

If we were to reword this verse into positive form, it would go something like — Whoever hears and responds to the cry of the poor can be sure the Lord will hear and answer his prayers as well.

“While ministering in Africa, I met a Christian worker who raised his 6 children on $10 a month. He told me the story of how children in his village were going blind because of a disease that could be prevented with medicine that only cost 50 cents. He began to pray and ask God to send a rich person to their village to help give the money for the medicine, but no one ever came. As he kept praying, the Lord told him he should give the money to buy the medicine. But with 6 children and only a $10 a month salary, he couldn’t see how he could do this. But he and his family prayed and decided that every month they would buy the medicine to help one child. When I last spoke with him, he’d been doing this for 7 years and had saved 84 children from going blind. And his family saw God meet all of their needs.”

–Dr. Brian Kluth

Lord, open my ears to the cries of the poor. As I help provide for their needs, you will surely take care of mine. Amen.

14 A gift given in secret soothes anger,
and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.

15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous
but terror to evildoers.

16 Whoever strays from the path of prudence
comes to rest in the company of the dead.

17 Whoever loves pleasure will become poor;
whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich.

18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous,
and the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.

“Yet much prayer and forbearance are required to avoid being upset by every trifle. This will keep us from being irritated needlessly. We must also bear in mind that we have divine support for all our heavy crosses. We also look forward with intense longing for the home of everlasting peace.”

–Charles Bridges

20 The wise store up choice food and olive oil,
but fools gulp theirs down.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.

22 One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty
and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.

23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity.

James 3:2 (NLT)

Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

24 The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name—
behaves with insolent fury.

25 The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work.

None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

–Thomas Edison

26 All day long he craves for more,
but the righteous give without sparing.

We are so blessed — to have enough for ourselves and enough to give generously.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
how much more so when brought with evil intent!

28 A false witness will perish,
but a careful listener will testify successfully.

29 The wicked put up a bold front,
but the upright give thought to their ways.

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD.

Acts 5:34-39 (NLT)

But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while.  Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing.  After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered.

“So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!”

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Be Thou My Vision” played on piano by Greg Howlett.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
People may be right . . .   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/prov21_21.jpg
Pray for our president.   http://wah.midco.net/pkirsch/MagnetPictures/PrayPresident015.jpg
Bernie Madoff, mugshot.   http://fortune.com/2014/12/10/ex-madoff-computer-programmer-gets-2-12-years-prison-for-fraud/
ten dollar bill.   http://www.westernjournalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ten_dollar_bill-1.jpg
Proverbs 21:19.   https://i.pinimg.com/originals/43/4d/3f/434d3fcf53c8db4da017d0413dd8229c.jpg
taming the tongue.   http://voltageyouth.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/fiery-tongue-300×187.jpg
verse 31.   https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2014/09/hebrew-word-study-trust-flying-chariots/

2455.) Proverbs 20

September 28, 2018

Proverbs 20 (NIV)

 1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler;
whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

“A man who drinks too much on occasion is still the same man as he was sober. An alcoholic, a real alcoholic, is not the same man at all. You can’t predict anything about him for sure except that he will be someone you never met before.” 

–Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

“Alcohol ruined me financially and morally, broke my heart and the hearts of too many others. Even though it did this to me and it almost killed me and I haven’t touched a drop of it in seventeen years, sometimes I wonder if I could get away with drinking some now. I totally subscribe to the notion that alcoholism is a mental illness because thinking like that is clearly insane.” 

–Craig Ferguson, American On Purpose

“If you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel!” 

–Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

2 A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion;
those who anger him forfeit their lives.

3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.

4 Sluggards do not plow in season;
so at harvest time they look but find nothing.

5 The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.

6 Many claim to have unfailing love,
but a faithful person who can find?

_________________________

Music:

HERE  Evie Tornquist Karlsson (I remember her from the 70’s and 80’s) sings about the one true “Unfailing Love.”

Unfailing love flows from his heart and heals my soul,
In spite of who I am,he loves and makes me whole.
I almost can’t believe its true,
Unfailing love and yet I know
He gave his life to give to me unfailing love.

If the highest mountains turn to ashes,
If the mighty rivers should run dry
Should sun and moon grow dim,
I still will trust in him,
He’s watching from above,
I’m resting in his love.

Unfailing love flows from his heart and heals my soul,
In spite of who I am,he loves and makes me whole.
I almost can’t believe its true,
Unfailing love and yet I know
He gave his life to give to me unfailing love.

_________________________

7 The righteous lead blameless lives;
blessed are their children after them.

8 When a king sits on his throne to judge,
he winnows out all evil with his eyes.

9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?

1 John 1:8-9 (NLT)

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Luke 18:9-14  (NIV)

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

10 Differing weights and differing measures—
the LORD detests them both.

11 Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure and upright?

12 Ears that hear and eyes that see—
the LORD has made them both.

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

13 Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.

14 “It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
then goes off and boasts about the purchase.

15 Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

16 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.

17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet,
but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.

18 Plans are established by seeking advice;
so if you wage war, obtain guidance.

A word to the wise ain’t necessary — it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.
–attributed to many

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality.  It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no.  You’re going to get it anyway.
–Erma Bombeck

She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).
–Lewis Carroll

Anybody who thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advice.
–Franklin P. Jones

19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much.

20 If someone curses their father or mother,
their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.

21 An inheritance claimed too soon
will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.

Revenge is Satan’s way of destroying both the innocent and the offender. Once vengeance becomes the motivation, the wounded party can suddenly be swept up in rage and hatred. This poison spreads to everything the vengeful person touches. On earth, we can see that we will never find perfect and complete justice, no matter the “goodness” of the judicial system in place at the time. But God will not only bring justice, he will deliver us: deliver us from the hands of the oppressor and deliver us from the poison of our own hatred.

–Phil Ware

23 The LORD detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

24 A person’s steps are directed by the LORD.
How then can anyone understand their own way?

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

25 It is a trap to dedicate something rashly
and only later to consider one’s vows.

26 A wise king winnows out the wicked;
he drives the threshing wheel over them.

27 The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

28 Love and faithfulness keep a king safe;
through love his throne is made secure.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
gray hair the splendor of the old.

30 Blows and wounds scrub away evil,
and beatings purge the inmost being.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Proverbs 20:1.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/proverbs-20-1-free-bible-verse-desktop-wallpapers.jpg
Proverbs 20:12.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/prov-20-121.jpg
unfailing love.    https://godslightcc.com/2016/07/28/unfailing-love/
lips of knowledge.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/tina2000tx/5897749745
advice.   http://www.rachelmesterline.com/astepahead/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/727441_69697149.jpg
scales.   http://oneyearbibleimages.com/justice_scales.gif
Proverbs 20:24.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/proverbs20-24.jpg

2450.) Proverbs 19

September 21, 2018

Proverbs 19 (NIV)

 1 Better the poor whose walk is blameless
than a fool whose lips are perverse.

2 Desire without knowledge is not good—
how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

3 A person’s own folly leads to their ruin,
yet their heart rages against the LORD.

“Fools will try to blame God when they ruin their lives . . . The fool is not willing to accept failure as his own. Of course, to blame God is also folly.”

–Allen P. Ross

4 Wealth attracts many friends,
but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.

5 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will not go free.

6 Many curry favor with a ruler,
and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts.

_________________________

Music:

Scripture tells us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).  So let us thank the Lord for all his good gifts to us!  HERE  is Don Moen and “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart.”

_________________________

7 The poor are shunned by all their relatives—
how much more do their friends avoid them!
Though the poor pursue them with pleading,
they are nowhere to be found.

8 The one who gets wisdom loves life;
the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” 

–Isaac Asimov

“Angry people are not always wise.” 

–Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness.

–Michel de Montaigne

9 A false witness will not go unpunished,
and whoever pours out lies will perish.

10 It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury—
how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!

11 A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

Once I was visiting with my friend RK and relating an incident which had caused friction and ill will between a mutual friend, “Jack,” and another person. Jack was quite hurt and discouraged by what had happened, and frankly, the other person was clearly at fault. RK said, “I know a way to prevent such things from ever happening.” I was astonished at his remark — what inside information did he have? 

Then RK said, “It is really quite simple. Choose NOT to be offended.”

Choose NOT to be offended. It has become a motto for me! When people say the wrong thing, whether unthinkingly or deliberately, I say to myself, “If they are unaware, oh well, it is not my problem. If they are trying to hurt me, I will sweetly deny them that satisfaction. I choose NOT to be offended.” And I let it go. If someone does something which makes my life more difficult and I find myself getting knotted up about it, I remind myself, “Life is full of ups and downs. Choose NOT to be offended and just get on with it.” And I stop the pity party.

1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” In my youth I thought it meant that my love covered other people’s sins, particularly the people I liked and could be generous and forgiving towards. Now I know it is God’s love that covers all our sins. Only with Christ’s forgiveness can I live at all! With that clearly in mind, then, I have found it easier and easier to take my friend’s advice and choose NOT to be offended.

12 A king’s rage is like the roar of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like
the constant dripping of a leaky roof.

‘Three things make a house intolerable: tak (the leaking through of rain), nak (a wife’s nagging) and bak (bugs).” 

–an Arab proverb, from Derek Kidner

14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.


15 Laziness brings on deep sleep,
and the shiftless go hungry.

16 Whoever keeps commandments keeps their life,
but whoever shows contempt for their ways will die.

17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward them for what they have done.

Proverbs 19:17 (KJV)

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

We are to give to the poor out of pity. Not to be seen and applauded, much less to get influence over them; but out of pure sympathy and compassion we must give them help. We must not expect to get anything back from the poor, not even gratitude; but we should regard what we have done as a loan to the Lord. He undertakes the obligation, and, if we look to him in the matter, we must not look to the second party. What an honor the Lord bestows upon us when he condescends to borrow of us! That merchant is greatly favored who has the Lord on his books. It would seem a pity to have such a name down for a paltry pittance; let us make it a heavy amount. The next needy man that comes this way, let us help him.

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

18 Discipline your children, for in that there is hope;
do not be a willing party to their death.

“It is far better that the child should cry under healthy correction than that parents should later cry under the bitter fruit to themselves and their children of neglected discipline.”

–Charles Bridges

19 A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.

“An ungovernable temper will repeatedly land its owner in fresh trouble.”

–Derek Kidner

20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

James 4:13-15  (NLT)

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

22 What a person desires is unfailing love;
better to be poor than a liar.

23 The fear of the LORD leads to life;
then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

24 A sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not even bring it back to his mouth!

Too lazy to eat!

25 Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke the discerning, and they will gain knowledge.

26 Whoever robs their father and drives out their mother
is a child who brings shame and disgrace.

27 Stop listening to instruction, my son,
and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

It was once said that the brain stops learning at a certain age, but research has since shown the brain constantly shapes and changes throughout our lives, which means we can continue learning at any age. This is what is known as “brain plasticity.” Exercising our brain plasticity means we are participating in activities that involve the entire body that directly relates to learning.

28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.

29 Penalties are prepared for mockers,
and beatings for the backs of fools.

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Proverbs 19:22.   https://dailyverses.net/2016/6/7
Difficult to offend.  http://spiritsassandspunk.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/007.jpg
Proverbs 19:14.  https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/proverbs-19_14.jpg
approved.   http://stevenshomler.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/approved.png
Baby asleep in high chair.    http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/BabySleepEat_main_0307.jpg
brain.   http://www.neurofeedbackstudio.com/2014/04/11/what-is-brain-plasticity/