Saturday, November 21, 2015

Proverbs 10:23-26 Indefinite futurity!

To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom. The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation. As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man to those who send him. Proverbs 10:23-26
Evil: wickedness in act
Understanding: the faculty, discernment
Wisdom: skillful, wisely, wit

Fear: terror, affright
Desire: a longing, lusting
Granted: to give, bestow

Whirlwind: that makes an end; judgments
Everlasting: indefinite futurity, with preposition for ever, always

Lazy: indolent, sluggard; (slothful and unprofitable servant)

As I read that first phrase, "to do evil is like a sport to a fool" it made me think of the riots and chaos we've seen in the news lately. Those taking part think stealing, burning down buildings, etc. is a sport. It's great fun. Sadly, they pay no attention to the consequences of their actions—people lose their merchandise, income, buildings, and livelihoods. All that is happening is destroying their very own communities. And soon they are left with nothing. 

The next phrase that caught my attention was, "but the righteous has an everlasting foundation". I like the definition of "everlasting": indefinite futurity. What a great security that is! Wisdom provides a foundation that is not only rock solid—but is indefinite futurity! 

As we look at what is happening in the world. The chaos and killings. No matter what happens, the righteous know that they have an indefinite futurity in Christ. Their foundation is rock solid and will last forever. 

An indefinite futurity foundation begins with a heart permitted with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). And as one learns and applies wisdom that foundation only gets stronger! 
Indefinite futurity! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Proverbs 10:22: Getting!

The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

Makes one rich: to accumulate; chiefly (specifically) to grow (causatively, make) rich
Sorrow: pain, hurt

Rich. Money. Things. Accumulation. Getting. 
It's amazing how quickly our eyes focus on that word, "rich". Oh, if we only had more money, our lives would be so much better. Really? How much is enough? 

What does it mean to be "rich"? Who sets the standards for how much is enough? Does being rich only involve money and things? Do money and things really bring happiness and joy? 

When we focus on "getting", rather than God, we never seem to have enough and when we lose what we gained, we become discouraged and suffer loss. 
Yes, we are to work and strive—but not to the point where the "getting" outweighs God and doing what God wants. For when we are acting in accordance with God's will, He blesses us abundantly. And that doesn't mean that we will be rich by man's standards. Rather, we will have peace and contentment in God. 

Whatever we receive in the way of providence, has God's blessing in it, and will do us good. Cares, troubles, and difficulties come with all property not acquired in this way; but God's blessing gives simple enjoyment, and levies no tax upon the comfort. 
Adam Clarke Commentary

On what do I focus? The getting or the Giver? When my heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then my focus will be on God and obeying His wisdom. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Proverbs 10:18-21: That simply describes the fool.

Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the heart of the wicked is worth little. The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom. Proverbs 10:18-21

Utter rashly and inconsiderately. 
Good for nothing.
Die prematurely, by neglect of wise moral conduct.

That simply describes the fool.

We all know someone who fits that description: one who spreads defamation speaks rashly without thought. And sadly, this is even more common today, due to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc. It's easy to click "like", or share, or retweet, etc. and pass along information—without verifying to see if it is true. We'd rather just assume that what is posted is true, and therefore, just pass it along. But that in actuality is the characteristic of a fool. 

How easy it is to look at others and point out which ones are fools. We spot them by their speech, behavior, and attitudes. We are disgusted by their actions! And yet, too often we too are guilty of uttering rashly and being inconsiderate in our speech. Are actions and attitudes display a good for nothing heart. 

Think before you speak. 
Wise advise. For if you stop and think before you speak, you can filter your thoughts and words though the truth wisdom has to offer. 
Think before you like, share, retweet. For if you stop and think before passing along information, you can verify whether it is true. 

A heart that is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), will provide the filter necessary to analyze thoughts, speech, and conduct. The fear of God, the beginning of wisdom, will prevent one from being a fool!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Proverbs 10:15-17: Keep. Refuse. Two verbs.

The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty. The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin. He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray. Proverbs 10:15-17

Destruction: the ruin of the poor (is) their poverty; as consequence of evil-doing

Labor: wages (as earned by work)
Life: as consisting of earthly felicity combined (often) with spiritual blessedness
Wages: income, revenue
Wicked: criminal, guilty of crime

Keep: guard, to protect, attend to
Instruction: discipline, chastening, correction
Life: of mode of living, or of character
Refuses: forsake, fail to follow: obey advice, instruction, wisdom, reproof
Correction: chastisement
Goes astray: physically—cause to wander about; mentally and morally—cause to err

Keeps Instruction. Refuses Correction. 
Two verbs. Keep. Refuse. Powerful verbs which have lasting consequences. 

Keep. Guard. Protect. Attend to.
Wisdom isn't once acquired then forgotten! Wisdom must be guarded and attended to, as one would maintain a garden or home. You keep watch over it, preserve it, tend to it. That means that wisdom must be a part of our daily lives. We cannot neglect wisdom! 

Refuse. Forsake. Fail to follow. 
The results are what you'd expect—wandering about, lost and getting into trouble. Simple. Refuse wisdom as you find yourself in the middle of trouble. 

Keep. Refuse. Two verbs. Two Choices. Two different consequences. 
Keeping begins when a heart is permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). And then the fear of God, creates the desire to continuing keeping! Do not refuse wisdom—KEEP IT! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Proverbs 10:14: What am I hoarding?

Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. Proverbs 10:14
Wise: ethically and religiously
Store up: "treasure up" a thing, hoard
Mouth: according to the measure of, in accordance with
Foolish: to be perverse
Knowledge: perception, skill
Near: imminent
Destruction: dismaying, ruin, terror.

Treasure up. Hoard. 

Stuff. We all accumulate stuff. The Castle has a car and a half garage. Which gives us room to store stuff. Some of it is worthy of keeping, some of it really is not. But since we "have the room", it stays on the shelf. 

The other day, we had to move a few boxes around, and as I was reading the content labels, I thought to myself, "Why are we keeping this?" Sometimes I thought of a good answer, "Sentimental value." Other times, I had no reason, except that we have the room, so why not keep it? 

Treasure up. I've discussed the concept of "treasure up" a few times as it relates to wisdom. #TreasureUp
You can read them here: 

Wise people store up knowledge. Wise people. That is a description that I'd like applied to me. I want to be known as a "wise person". But before others can see wisdom in my attitudes and actions, I must hoard up wisdom. For if it's not stored up, then it cannot be used. 

Wise people. Treasure up. Hoard. The store house must be prepared for the wisdom, and that begins with a heart permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG). For a heart that fears God is one ready to receive wisdom from God. 

Wise people. Treasure up. Hoard. What am I hoarding? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Proverbs 10:9-13: Trouble. With a capital "T".

He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known. He who winks with the eye causes trouble, but a prating fool will fall. The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding. Proverbs 10:9-13

Walks: of moral and religious life
Integrity: (morally) innocence
Securely: assurance, boldly, without care, confidence, hope
Perverts: make crooked, distorts
Ways: of moral action and character
Become known: be revealed, discovered, of person

Winks: blink the eyes (as a gesture of malice)
Trouble: hurt, injury, pain
Fall: ruined, fail

Hatred: exceedingly hateful
Stirs up: awakens
Strife: discord
Covers: conceal
Sins: transgression against individuals

Wisdom: ethical and religious
Understanding: intelligent, discreet, discerning
Rod: staff for smiting
Back: body
Devoid: needy, lacking, in want of
Understanding: the will and even the intellect

Trouble. With a capital "T". And I'm not talking about "pool" (The Music Man)

Yes, TROUBLE! Where does trouble begin? It begins in the heart. When one ignores and has a hatred for wisdom, trouble takes root and begins to fester and grow. And then that leads to attitudes and those attitudes are then put into action. 

We see it and hear about it each and every day in the news. We see the results of ignoring God's moral laws and what happens when everyone is left to do what is right in their own eyes. Sin and lawlessness becomes the norm and with it the strife, discontentment, destruction and death. 

Wisdom and understanding will followed brings security and hope. What a contrast to the aftermath that foolishness leaves behind. 

Trouble. With a capital "T". It all begins in the heart! When a heart is permeated with a deeps sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), then wisdom will reign and bring security and hope!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Proverbs 10:8: Full in Heart (wisdom) or Full of Tongue

The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall. Proverbs 10:8

Wise: ethically and religiously
Heart: mind, knowledge
Receive: take possession of, as preliminary to further action
Commands: human or divine (collectively, the Law), law, ordinance,
Prating: babbling, talkative
Fool: who despises wisdom & discipline
Fall: ruined, thrown away

Here is, 1. The honour and happiness of the obedient. They will receive commandments; they will take it as a privilege, and really an ease to them, to be under government, which saves them the labour of deliberating and choosing for themselves; and they will take it as a favour to be told their duty and admonished concerning it. And this is their wisdom; those are wise in heart who are tractable, and those who thus bend, thus stoop, shall stand and be established, shall prosper, being well advised.
2. The shame and ruin of the disobedient, that will not be governed, nor endure any yoke, that will not be taught, nor take any advice. They are fools, for they act against themselves and their own interest; they are commonly prating fools, fools of lips, full of talk, but full of nonsense, boasting of themselves, prating spitefully against those that admonish them (3 John 1:10), and pretending to give counsel and law to others. Of all fools, none more troublesome than the prating fools, nor that more expose themselves; but they shall fall into sin, into hell, because they received not commandments. Those that are full of tongue seldom look well to their feet, and therefore stumble and fall. 
Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Full in Heart (wisdom) or Full of Tongue. 
When one is talking, they can't be listening. 

Great knowledge, if it be without vanity, is the most severe bridle of the tongue. For so have I heard, that all the noises and prating of the pool, the croaking of frogs and toads, are hushed and appeased upon the bringing upon them the light of a candle or torch. Every beam of reason and ray of knowledge checks the dissolution of the tongue. Jeremy Taylor
A holy life is a voice; it speaks when the tongue is silent, and is either a constant attraction or a perpetual reproof. Robert Leighton 
God has given us two ears, but one tongue, to show that we should be swift to hear, but slow to speak. God has set a double fence before the tongue, the teeth and the lips, to teach us to be wary that we offend not with our tongue. Thomas Watson 
Remember that the tongue speaks only what is in the heart. Theodore Epp 
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. James 1:26 
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. James 3:6
Full in Heart (wisdom) or Full of Tongue. 

Oh, that my heart would be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31 MSG), so that I would shut-up and hear God's wisdom and obey it! 

Full in Heart (wisdom) or Full of Tongue. Which are you?