Saturday, December 25, 2010

Proverbs, Chapter 14 commentary

1 ¶ Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Keeping in mind that a house is a family, like a dynasty, we clearly see here that a wise woman is not called to be a carpenter or a bricklayer but is called to build up her family.
Here is the Biblical definition of a house;
Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
2Samuel 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.
A wise woman will build up her family, strengthen it, and make it stable. The Christian woman is to guide the family, to direct it.
1Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
Guide means to teach. Here is a Biblical definition;
Psalm 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Notice how teach and way are inserted after the colon as synonyms for guide and judgment. This is how you read the Bible to understand it. Beware of preachers on the internet or the radio who can’t read the King’s English. They’ll send you down the wrong path in a heartbeat.
The wise woman builds her family. She establishes it.
Habakkuk 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
Back in 12:3 I showed how the Bible defines “establish” as to make sure, such as in a covenant, to make it real and true.
It is a foolish woman who destroys her own family, who plucks down her house figuratively with her own hands as many do. There are many women who bring their own sin issues into a marriage that they simply call “that’s just the way I am” and then proceed to poison their children and their husbands with it. I hardly think that a young woman who has been grounded in the word of God, this Book right here for the first eighteen or so years of her life, is going to come into a marriage and motherhood with a lot of foul smelling baggage she unwittingly is going to dump on her family’s collective heads.
Emotional manipulation, the guilt trip (you know, if you loved me you wouldn’t….), and downright selfishness can destroy a child. A mother who runs her house by manipulation and guilt is worse than a preacher who twists the Scripture, as there is no escape from her. When your children are grown see if they get as far away from you as they possibly can and then ask yourself why. If your child at the age of 18 wants to move to Irkutsk, Siberia, “for the lovely weather”, you might should reevaluate your attitude.
I have seen many a family brought low by a foolish woman and so have you. We all know at least one family like that, perhaps we were a part of it at one time. You mothers have a tremendous power and influence over the spiritual growth of your children and even your husband. Look at what the Bible says about the influence a wife has over her husband’s salvation.
1Corinthians 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
1Corinthians 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
2 ¶ He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
Deuteronomy 9:5, 1 Kings 3:6, and Psalm 9:8 define uprightness as synonymous with righteousness while other verses show it to be synonymous with integrity.
The only way a person can walk upright in this age is not by going to Israel and attempting to follow the Law to the letter but by being saved by Christ and having His Spirit indwelling him or her. That person can know the fear and awe of the Lord, knowing who God really is, the God of the Bible, not men’s imaginations, and can truly understand those great works of creation and salvation even in the limited extent they are able to be understood. The unsaved man often holds God in contempt and in low regard, despising the very thought of an eternal God.
Perverse is rebellious against God. Its first usage is in Numbers 22:32 in the statements that the angel of the Lord made to Balaam, and in such verses as 1 Samuel 20:30; and Matthew 17:17, among others clearly showing its meaning to God. We put the spin of everything in relation to us so perverse has come to mean something that we find disgusting and gross. God finds rebellion against Him to be so.
3 ¶ In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Again we have a warning about what comes out of the mouth. Dr. Ruckman points out that the picture here is of a man beating another with his words. In spite of the rantings of people like the Pharaoh of the Exodus and Nabal, Abigail’s husband, the lips of the wise, such as Moses and Abigail, shall preserve them.
Gill and Henry don’t disagree with this, just couch it in slightly different terms. The foolish man or woman uses words as a weapon against others. I have often thought about this when it comes to vulgar language and cursing, as verbal violence. A man often curses when he feels powerless and weak. Vulgar language and cursing is a sign of weakness and powerlessness. With regard to words being violence, one of the most common vulgar words used today is an Anglo-Saxon word that comes from German that comes from an Indo-European root which means to strike, to punch, and to hit.
The foolish person uses words as a weapon. I have a book about verbal self-defense which tells you all kinds of ways to defuse verbally violent situations. The wise person knows what to say in response. Foolish people can be emotionally manipulative, controlling, and abusive with their prideful words. It takes wisdom not to be taken in by their foolishness. One of my pet peeves is people who use the left handed compliment or the seemingly harmless, innocuous statement to try to dig at you.
The Christian is not to use words as a weapon.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
I went out street preaching a couple of times, inviting people to church and giving away Bibles. I was excited about it and studied it online and ordered a book about it from Dr. Ruckman’s store. What amazed me was how many fundamentalist street preachers ignored the verses I just quoted and believed that screaming Bible verses in a hostile manner to strange people, even through a megaphone so that you could hardly understand what they were saying, say, at a “Gay Pride” parade or a NASCAR event, was a ministry.
Use your words carefully. Use them to glorify Christ and to point to Him, not to your own carnal pseudo-spirituality. I don’t care who does or doesn’t think I’m a very good Christian. I’m concerned about people turning to Christ from death and destruction.
4 ¶ Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
From a literal perspective if you don’t have any oxen, that beast that pulls your plow and digs up the ground, the crib, where they sleep, is clean, which is used most often if not always as unpolluted, undefiled, empty of filth, or CLEAN, for any Hebrew scholars out there, but if you have an ox you can achieve a great deal by his strength. This goes along literally with many other verses about idleness and poverty.
But, a spiritual application might be found regarding a lack of ministers of the gospel. Empty, abandoned church buildings may not have the division, arguing, and contention of having the body of Christ worshipping in them but with the body of Christ there is much that can be done for God. In other words, a church body can be a pain in the neck and have to be constantly guided and corrected by the Pastor and the Evangelists he chooses but it is with just such a group of frail, sinful, saved people that great work can be done for God. As it is with the ox in the crib. If you don’t have an ox you don’t have to clean up what they leave behind but with them you can get much increase.
Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
5 ¶ A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.
Aside from the obvious, let’s look at some lies a false witness tells today. “Since I got saved I haven’t sinned”, “I consult Jesus Christ before I do anything”, “The only way to know God is through prayer and the Mass”, “All people are God’s children”, “God loves everyone”, “I can tell if you’re saved by how you act and how you dress”. There are many others.
It was false witnesses that accused Jesus Christ (Matthew 26) and Naboth(I Kings 21) in a portent of Jesus (the man, a type of Jesus, had a vineyard, a type of Israel, and Ahab, a type of the Devil, wanted it) so I would imagine that false and faithful witnesses are literally dealing with people who tell lies or the truth about what others have done. I have heard Christian people relate events that I witnessed and lie about them not realizing that I had been there. It’s sort of a shock when you hear someone talk about something that someone did that you saw with your own eyes and heard with your own ears and is not being told truthfully.
Back to the spiritual application, I find that preachers who invent stories or pass on stories they’ve heard and use them as sermon illustrations in a way as if they happened to them personally, cannot be trusted with the gospel and will lie and twist the scriptures. I have sat in meetings or listened on the radio and realized that I had heard the same story told about a half a dozen times in a half a dozen different ways by a half a dozen different preachers and said to myself, he’s lying, and from then on I didn’t trust his take on anything. You’ve all had the same experience, I’m sure. And for the rest of us, don’t pass on emails that make railing accusations about people who can’t defend themselves without at least making an effort to check them out. For every ten right wing emails I get in my inbox, nine of them are bold faced lies just made up or after selectively taking what someone said out of context. You have an obligation to tell me the truth as you know it and you aren’t off the hook because the person who told you was lying. However, I realize that sometimes even if you check out something to the best of your ability you can still be lied to and pass on a lie, as I have done. Realizing that, I don’t get too awfully worked up about it.
One of the dangers about being found to be a false witness is when you are giving your testimony to an unsaved person of some intelligence and you state a lie that he or she knows is a lie, that it ruins any credibility you have. I can remember, before I believed that the King James Bible was God’s final authority in all matters of faith, practice, AND doctrine for Christians that I was arguing against an evolution believing atheist who had grown up in church and I said, “the Bible says”, and he said, “Which Bible? They all say different things.” He had me there and that led me on a long study that resulted in my believing what I believe now, which God confirmed by removing the lust for alcohol from my body and mind at the moment I spoke that belief.
Seek to be a faithful witness. Do not hold the truth in unrighteousness. To paraphrase a child’s statement about what it means to be loved, let Christ’s name be safe in your mouth.
6 ¶ A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
A scorner mocks you for your faith but first he or she scoffs at the truth of Christ.
2 Peter 3:3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 ¶ But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The modern scientific paradigm, when it comes to the origin of life and all matter, in fact, is lined up with what Marxists call historical or dialectical materialism. In this philosophy and political ideology man is his own god and there is no higher authority than the state. Marxism and atheistic science work hand in hand with the modern government, national and worldwide, to shape society in any way they choose without regard to the rights or demands of a God in whom they have chosen not to believe.
The scorners have limited their ability to find knowledge and wisdom by the demand that they express unbelief in their public writings and their refusal to permit you to even post a brief statement in the front of one of their textbooks that not everyone agrees with atheistic materialism. This was the essence of the recent Dover lawsuit.
Look at your hand, then turn it over. There are two sides to every opinion. The evidence that they say proves there is no God or gods can also reveal that there is. They essentially exist and work as propaganda mouthpieces for a world system that wants you and your children to believe that you are nothing more important than a sea slug. The scorners control the educational establishment and if any one of their number expresses a faith in God he loses his job and his funding. It is a closed shop.
There are scorners in the church, as well; people who are critics of God and His Bible and who choose to ignore everything spiritual God gives us in the letters written to Christians and try to put you back under the Law given to Moses because it’s easier to control you that way.
But, to those who realize that God’s words in His Book are the principal way in which He speaks to His people, knowledge is easy. The scorners have limited by their own willful ignorance their ability to understand what God is doing and what He is permitting to happen and how it is being accomplished and they will remain ignorant until a light is shined on their wicked thoughts.
The scorners in the church don’t even usually know what a Bible is, how powerful it is over sin, or what it means. They can’t cross reference because their preferred Bible version destroys the cross references and they have no idea that the Bible defines its own words or how it’s done. Every question in their minds results in a run to a dictionary or a commentary or a lexicon. Lexicons and dictionaries, by the way, that are based not on Bible language but on pagan writings. There are words used in unique ways in the Bible based on context that are not found in pagan and secular writings that can only be understood in context.
In any event, the scorners, Proverbs 9:7,8 and 13:1. 21:24 shows the nature of the scorner. The one in public school and private university who trusts in matter only and the one in the church who refuses to argue with you because HE has a degree in Greek which YOU don’t. They are ignorant and willfully so and they are angry at you because you refuse to be. Or they just hold you in contempt and think you’re a simpleton. God will deal with them. Arguing with them is pointless as it says in Proverbs.
7 ¶ Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Not only does God tell you to get away from foolish people when they aren’t speaking from knowledge I would say it also means to avoid people of faith who spew twisted doctrine and display evil intentions when they talk about what’s in the Bible and about God. Often, after I hear, “it’s Bible, man”, I know I’m going to hear some sort of legalistic gibberish or scripture taken out of context to prove someone’s hatred against women or that notorious “other” humans like to hate. I can read the passages where Gentiles get saved, like Acts 8:37, 16:31, and Romans 10: 9, 10 for instance, so when I’m talking with a Christian about getting people saved and he starts adding even one additional condition to the Bible I have to try to correct him with the Bible or I need to just go from his presence. Usually a foolish Christian will just try to talk over you, get louder than you, or just start calling you names.
The most important knowledge a person has or doesn’t have is the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I mean the knowledge of Him that not only recognizes who He is but depends upon and trusts in Him for salvation. I would hardly consider taking advice on spiritual matters from an unsaved person who has no knowledge of the God of the Bible. Certainly, beyond telling me how to fix a flat tire or backup my computer they don’t have much to say worthwhile.
Then the knowledge that a Christian has from a daily walk with Christ, submitting to His Bible and letting God speak to Him through it and through honest Bible preaching, and praying continuously to the Lord. If that person doesn’t manifest the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 then you would do well to look for another, more spirit filled Christian from whom to take advice.
Go from the presence of the unsaved or of the carnal Christian as soon as you perceive that they aren’t speaking from knowledge. Foolishness is a faith killer. For instance, arguing with scorners will weary you and bring you down and arguing with carnal Christians likewise. If they aren’t correctable after you’ve made an honest effort backed up by prayer then just leave them alone and turn them over to God.
8 ¶ The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
We are travelers on this earth, here only for a short time. It may seem to you young people that you have a long time ahead but it will seem like it has been a short time at the end unless you’ve been suffering under something horrible like a disease or abusive treatment.
It’s important that we understand our way, the way we are to sojourn on this earth. The world, and I’m using the definition of the people that inhabit the earth and its systems (Rev. 3:10), is not our home and we are in it but not to be a part of it or participate in its values, goals, beliefs, religion, or institutions. We are ambassadors of the mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19, 20) and are to shine as lights in this world (Philippians 2:15).
The prudent Christian understands that he or she is an alien in this world system in which we live and that this world system is opposed to God and led by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). All of human history is a cauldron boiling and being stirred by Satan to bring all men together away from God’s plan for Adam originally to the false religion of Cain and his spiritual descendants to kingdoms, empires, and eventually one world so that all men and women can rise up to make that final stand against God as dupes of Satan. Just read the Book. It’s all there.
Do you understand your way? Are you wise and prudent? Do you think your way is to take up arms against people who have rejected God and to kill them or to avenge yourself of wrongs and slights, to sue in court, to devour? Is it your way to try to achieve as much success in the world as you can, to be as far in debt as they are, to hunger and strive for the things that the world lusts for or do you understand that you have another way to go?
You talk about bearing fruit. Well, is this the kind of fruit your are bearing as a light in this present, evil world?
Ephesians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Do you follow the talking points of your political party or do you understand your marching orders?
1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 ¶ Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
The wisdom of the prudent Christian is to know his way, which is to be Christ’s way. The folly of fools is deceit. Deceit is rampant in our faith. It drives some unbelievers from even considering what we say and many so called Christians will answer for their manipulations and deceit before God. Fools not only deceive others but are deceived themselves,
2Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The worldly Christian is a fool, not understanding that he is an ambassador for heaven, and that the world offers him nothing that is not temporary and a lie. He doesn’t understand that he is in this world but not of this world. He deceives others with his lusts by telling them that that God wants them to have material riches and that if they have enough faith they will be free from disease, hunger, and want. They can name it and claim it, as they say. They believe if they imitate the world’s way of doing things but sprinkle in a few Christs and Gods in their speech that it’s okay to have an alternate Halloween or have music that imitates the world’s as long as they say God or Jesus every few lines. They think they can pursue riches and seek to be rich because, just look at all the good they can do with it. They read Christian romances and Christian adventure and Christian war novels. They watch Christian movies and admire Christian athletes and politicians, all celebrities who think that the way the world does things is okay as long as you think of Christ while you’re doing them which sort of justifies the church that had a Bible Study in a Hooter’s down in Atlanta, I think it was.
You have a way, and it is to be Christ’s way, not the world’s. Do you understand it?
2Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
9 ¶ Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
Fools laugh at sin. They wink the eye and make jokes. To them, their sin and the sin of others is a source of jokes and jesting. They don’t realize, of course, that it is sin that is mocking them, but that’s just the way they are. The righteous, and remember, the only reason a person is righteous is because they are saved and it is not their righteousness, because you have none of your own, but Christ’s righteousness in them, don’t mock at sin. They detest it. Once a person who is saved and has the righteous Spirit of Christ in them, even if they do sin, will be saddened and angered by it, and disappointed in him or herself. God is pleased with your rejection of sin.
10 ¶ The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
We can’t know exactly what pain another person is going through. We also don’t know what kind of personal relationship a person has with God, if they have one at all. It’s impossible to fully participate in another’s joys and sorrows, as Dr. Ruckman says. I don’t know what drives a young girl to cut herself or starve herself into anorexia, what false doctrine of perfection that’s been forced on her or the pain and fear she feels. I don’t know what pushes a young man to seek solace in alcohol, obsessive playing of video games, or other things. Only you know what’s going on in your heart, you and God.
In the same respect I can’t fully share in your joy or your walk with the Lord. I don’t know how much you let God speak to you through His Book, or how prayerful you are throughout the day, or the joys you have waiting on the Lord. I am a fool for saying you can’t have much joy because you don’t do things the way I do them or the way the fundamentalist church down the road does them. We don’t have to know everything about each other’s misery or joy in the Lord to care for them. We are called in this;
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
I’ll never say to you who have lost a child, “well, God will make something good happen out of this”. That’s for you to find out and for me to pray for. I’ll mourn with you, though. I’ll never tell you that your time in the morning alone with God isn’t important or valuable because you aren’t having it the way I think you should. I’ll rejoice with you, though, when you tell me about something God has shown you. That’s what we’re called to do, not to be meddlers and busybodies or know-it-alls.
11 ¶ The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
Notice the contrast between house and tabernacle in this verse. This should make it clear as to the meaning of house in this verse by its reference to a tabernacle, such as what the Israelites worshipped in during their trek through the wilderness and in Shiloh. The Tabernacle was where God dwelt with the Hebrews on earth until the Temple was built.
Here in the following verses is the making of tabernacle synonymous with a habitation or where one lives;
Job 5:24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Job 18:15 It shall dwell in his tabernacle, because it is none of his: brimstone shall be scattered upon his habitation.
Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
There is no temple nor altar of stone today but each believing Christian is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
1Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
So, I think that the contrast between house, tabernacle, and dwelling place is established.
This literal verse to the families of the ancient kingdom of Israel has a tremendous spiritual application to the Christian. Not only shall a family be destroyed by wickedness but a house that is based on Christ, where Christ is the head of the home shall flourish. A family where the Bible is uplifted and read aloud and in silence each and every day with prayer and thanksgiving should blossom and thrive while a family where the blare of the popular music player and the drone of the TV are all that’s heard or seen will suffer. Your home is a type of church where several members of the body of Christ meet each and every day, where the father is a type of Pastor watching over a flock and a mother, like a modern day Deborah, has to do a man’s work if no father is present.
In prophecy, the wicked, from Cain, who was “of that wicked one” (1 John 3:12), down through all false religion to the Beast of Revelation himself, will be that wicked house that shall be destroyed, Satan’s offspring.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
But the family of God will flourish.
Ephesians 3:14 ¶ For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
In whom we have been adopted.
Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
One house, family, or tabernacle will be destroyed forever in a lake of unquenchable fire and one will inherit eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
12 ¶ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
This is one of the most famous Proverbs in the book. It’s a memory verse for many people of God. Mankind is always coming up with a new “conventional wisdom” and mankind’s wisdom always leads to death. The great, advanced, white European countries, in their magnificent sense of right ways went on a killing spree in the Twentieth Century completely unimaginable in the history of humanity. Patriotic, God believing men of so called Christian countries went on a century long frenzy of blood and fury, couched in religious terms, wearing belt buckles that said Got Mit Uns or God With Us, the battle cry of the late Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, taken over by Germany, and singing God Bless America and God Save the King. It was all the right thing to do by someone’s standards and you’d be hard pressed to hear a German, Englishmen, Frenchman, Russian, or American saying that their participation in either World Wars One or Two were the work of the Devil and not God. In the same respect America would never say that Satan duped them into the Korean War or any present day military action. No, our ways are right, to us. The results have been astounding with 100 million murdered in the last century. Samuel Johnson, the second most quoted man in the English language after Shakespeare said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. It appears to be so for all Gentile nations at all times.
In the 1960’s it began to seem right to “do your own thing”, to follow your own path, to march to the beat of a different drummer. The results were also amazing. Fifty new kinds of STD’s, generations of lost children growing up with no real parents, and millions totally dependent on a bankrupt government for their daily bread. But, what we were doing just seemed to be the right thing to do. It was a new way for us, a more progressive society.
The problem with both of these scenarios is that God wasn’t a part of either except in allowing us to proceed down our way as a part of His judgment on us. What about your way? Is it God’s way? Are you walking the way of death or do you seek God’s true will in everything? I’m not talking about your own human imaginations where you think God has laid something on your heart because it seems good and Godly but where your desire lines up with His words in this Book.
Does your way line up with;
Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Or with:
1Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
Man’s ways are false, destructive, and murderous, and even his best of intentions without God are a disaster, given enough time. Anything you do without God is doomed to failure, God granting you mercy for some unknown reason in spite of yourself notwithstanding.
13 ¶ Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
The laughter of the sinner who is delighting in his wickedness is empty and hollow because it hides a deep and abiding pain and confusion. They run to drown their feelings in alcohol and drugs and appear from the outside as if they’re having a great time. This often attracts young people into the life of the partier, who literally runs, after work, to the bars or parties. The seeming fun and happiness is just a covering for misery, fear, and hopelessness. The unsaved person’s laughter hides a heart that is full of pain.
The end result of that kind of life in the world is a heaviness that goes with them to the grave. If God does not draw their willing spirit to Him, they’ll never know true joy. I can tell you also that the Christian who doesn’t know or experience the power of this Bible is often just as downtrodden and joyless as the unsaved person can be. I never experienced joy from the Lord until I believed His Book and began reading it, letting him speak to me through it. I never sang a hymn until the Book began to work on me.
Is your laughter hollow? Is your joy empty and meaningless? Read this Book and meditate on it, pray over its words and ask God for light from it. You’ll see things change.
14 ¶ The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
You know that the heart is wicked in and of itself.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Backsliding carries with it the meaning of a cow pulling back on the rope leading it, struggling against its master, trying hard not to be pulled forward.
Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
The Christian who backslides in heart, has already set in his or her heart that they will not obey God. You can be sitting right there in church resisting the leading of the Holy Spirit, refusing to read your Bible, not paying attention to the sermon, daydreaming about being somewhere else, not giving time in your daily life for prayer, and refusing to stand up for Christ in the world. With that attitude you’re filled with your own ways and your life may be consumed by them if you don’t turn around, as will the life of those you love.
Just remember, faithful church attendance, proper dress, door knocking, and singing loud do not mean that your heart isn’t backsliding and resisting the Holy Spirit. Do you hunger to hear God speak to you through His word every day? Do you desire to pray often? Do the fruit of the Spirit reveal themselves in you?
A good Christian will be satisfied from the time he or she shares with the Lord every day, not just two or three times a week at church. As David Peacock says, if the only time you get fed is in church you’re in pretty bad shape. You need to learn to pick up the Bible and feed yourself when you aren’t in church. It is that day to day meeting with God hearing Him speak to you through His word and speaking to Him in prayer, it is the Spiritual life, that gives the physical life of the Christian meaning, conquers the sin you face daily, the disappointment, and the heartbreak.
Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.
Without the Spiritual life, the physical works you do supposedly for Christ have no meaning. They are empty husks, and you are no better off than a Rotarian or a member of the Elks Club as far as this life is concerned, only you have eternal life, which is incredibly wonderful, but you can have an abundant life right now in the Spirit with the Lord. Just stop resisting Him, stop pulling back.
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
I lusted after alcohol but God took that away from me through His word. I hungered after horror movies and all of the wicked spiritual warfare that focusing on death and destruction entails. You realize that the woman is a type of the church, and the monster or killer is a type of Satan, and in today’s horror movies there is no hero as a type of Christ who saves the church, as in olden days. But, God took that away from me through His word. Just removed both a taste for alcohol and horror movies right from my mind and body with my submission to His word and my delight in it. Money, entertainment, energy, the use of my limited time, etc. etc. He’s changed through my listening to Him. Just receiving what He has to send my way.
You will means nothing. All you do with your will power is pull back on the rope as the Holy Spirit leads you. You have to let Him lead. Put everything about you on the table and say “God, just wipe away what you don’t want in my life. Change me.” Don’t pull back.
Are you a backslider in heart?
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
15 ¶ The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
Back in Proverbs 7:7 and in several verses in Psalms, it shows us that the simple are void of understanding, inexperienced, and naive. 1:22 links them with scorners and fools, although the latter are usually willfully so while the simple have had no light. Here, the simple believes everything he hears. He or she is gullible and without any kind of discernment. They are easily taken in by someone who wishes to corrupt them.
The simple doesn’t know the Bible, won’t read it but as a collection of stories or advice or simple commands. They don’t understand that the Bible is a living Book given to us by a Living God, whose very Spirit breathes through the words on the page. The simple don’t understand that the words sanctify them, set them apart, as Jesus says in John 17:17. So, they get deceived. They can’t rightly divide the word. They don’t understand that the words can change their hearts, give them victory over specific sins, and change their circumstances. But, they have to believe them. It’s not an act of their own will, the result, but a consequence of their humble acceptance of every word as God’s truth for them.
So, when a teacher digs into the Law and says;
Psalms 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
The simple one moans and groans. God won’t listen to me. He won’t forgive me. I can’t deal with this addiction. I have no power over it. He’s ignoring me because I’ve sinned. Sometimes they even give up and you don’t see them darken the door of a church meeting place again. Sometimes, they become retreads and “get saved” over and over at meetings, hoping that their lives will change. But, the simple, because they don’t read their Bible except as good stories and good advice, and don’t know its power, also don’t know when they’re being lied to, for the rest of the Psalm says;
Psalms 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
And because of the wicked teacher and his own simplicity, the simple doesn’t know that;
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The prudent person has read their Bible or listened to it read, over and over, from front to back, several times, and knows that when he or she sins;
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And turns to God when even the wrong thought comes to their mind. The prudent person knows that he or she didn’t become a Christian by an act of his or her own will;
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And it is not by his or her own will that they are sanctified;
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
The prudent man or woman carefully considers everything they are told and compares it to God’s word for truth and accuracy. He or she knows the difference between a teacher’s opinion or personal convictions and what the Bible says.
In the world, the simple girl will believe anything a boy tells her, and not filter it through the Scriptures. The simple boy will think that beauty means goodness when it doesn’t. The simple Christian thinks that church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and not cursing or stealing or any big sin is like a business deal with God and He owes them an easy trip through life. Churches are filled with simpletons who are passive spectators in sermons, who don’t care to apply them or think of how the words shine a light on their lives, or who read the Bible as just a holy book, a neat collection of stories and Godly advice, not a living Book with the power to change and judge.
Are you a prudent Christian or one of the simple ones? Look well to your going.
16 ¶ A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
A wise man or woman stands apart from sin, from violent feelings and actions, either physical or verbal. They fear God with a Holy fear, and know that He means business and that their end result is to be like Christ, not like Bruce Willis or John Wayne, and He will accomplish that if they have to be dragged kicking and screaming to it. The wise person departs from evil, whether it be the evil of sinful iniquity as in Genesis 2:9 with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or the evil of malice, bad intent, and hatefulness as in Genesis 50:20 when Joseph identified that his brothers meant him harm but God turned it to good.
But, the fool rants and raves, confident in his own wickedness and in the rightness of his wickedness. In Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 it is said that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. The militant atheist rants and raves that no mention of God should be made in public school save for in a class about myth and fantasy. The homosexual activist demands that his or her lifestyle must be accepted as perfectly normal and okay and wants anyone who refuses to accept that stance to be punished by the law, even to the point of civil and criminal action against a preacher preaching directly from God’s word. The fornicator lives like an animal with whomever they please, producing children, and never regarding that they are to have a commitment for life with their partner and that it is not to be a casual relationship but a marriage before God and under His authority. These people are certain they are right and will scream it from the rooftops, raging and demanding their “rights”.
Then there is the so called “Christian” fool, who relies on the government to enforce religious dogma and the moral laws that God has laid down, as if the bureaucrats were Spirit filled and able to discern between good and evil. There is the fool who wants to unite with the fascist ecclesiastical organization at Rome to worship Baal and Ishtar. There is the fool who doesn’t know what a Bible is and even if they did, doesn’t think it’s necessary, as the only thing they need are creeds and confessions because those Christian fools simply make it up as they go along. Then, there is the Christian fool who thinks of God more as an idea than a real, living person, because he has had no direct experience with Him through His Book or his own spirit, and who despises such things as being “born again” or having a relationship with Christ. Finally, there is the Christian fool who has never experienced the power of the Bible on their lives. They want to submit to its dictates as by their own will and their own love for Christ, but have no clue as to its ability to change their minds, their hearts, and their affections for God’s purposes. These fools, all of them, will rage confidently that they are right and you are wrong, simply because they have no evidence in their own lives of God’s power, only their own will reacting to what they believe to be true. They all have faith in their faith, but not in God.
17 ¶ He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
It’s a common axiom that being quick to anger makes you make errors in judgment and many regrets come from flying off the handle too quickly. However, look at the contrast. There is a colon after the word “foolishly” which turns back the next part of the verse on the first part as a kind of condition or definition. When are anger and dealing foolishly wicked devices and why does Paul say;
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.
2 Corinthians 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
The hothead, the quick to anger, slow to forgive, a person whose anger becomes wrath and violent vengeance often, who plots his revenge, plays right into the hands of Satan and is held in low regard, looked down upon, or hated. There isn’t a woman reading this who has lived with a man who has beaten them that doesn’t know that a violent, quick tempered man is a fool and a threat to their well being and perhaps their children’s. Proverbs 12:2 shows us who hates the man or woman of wicked devices, who condemns them.
The law might afford a dog one bite but a wicked fool should get none. Young ladies, if a man ever, ever raises a hand to hit you in anger the only recourse you have, besides running from him, is to pray that God deals with him and changes his wicked heart. Of course, the signs are all there when you first meet him. A quick, hot temper, and an unforgiving spirit, a selfish demeanor, and an I’m da man and you best do what I tell you or pay the price should tell you to flee immediately. Now, if you are drawn to that sort of evil person because of low self esteem or some other wicked device on your part you have issues and are in sore need of reading this Bible over and over and talking to God in prayer and to your Pastor AND his wife (at the same time). Believe me, I know many women are drawn to a hot tempered man equating fury with strength as mistakenly as men mistake beauty for goodness.
And men, if you have ever contemplated taking your hand to your wife violently, you need to get on your knees and beg God to forgive you and change you. You’re wicked, an evil man, a fool full of wicked devices. In addition to your violence, I know many men who beat their wives are also adulterers, as they have neither respect for their wives, for their marriage, for women in general, or for God who made women as a type of the church to the husband’s typology of Christ.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Wicked devices include the abiding wrath of Cain who may have thought on his vengeance on Abel for some time. The man of wicked devices will sometimes hide his resentment under a smile, waiting for his chance to get revenge. Perhaps, you’ve experienced a black eye after you’ve forgotten you didn’t make his eggs like mama did, or something worse. Just as no sane employer would hire someone he thought might commit violence in the workplace no woman should think that a marriage to a hot tempered man will be anything but a disaster.
18 ¶ The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
The simple, particularly speaking of those who are willfully ignorant, and who come to no true conclusions about Christ and God, inherit nothing but foolishness and error in this life. This can be said of unbelievers and believers alike who reject the counsels of God. The prudent are crowned with the knowledge of a living and real Christ who interacts with them on a daily basis and who concerns Himself through His Spirit with their simplest needs and desires.
For our purposes, the simple Christian, using a Biblical definition of simple, does not have a relationship with a real person but only with an idea, as he has divorced the grounding of his faith in God through the Bible. He mistakes his conscience for the Holy Spirit’s direction and his own pride and carnal imagination for God laying something on his heart. He neither waits on God’s answer nor rightly divides the word. He takes things invented for the service of God in recent years and substitutes them for the love that Christ gives us for Himself and for our fellow Christians and the fruit of the Spirit which we must pray for and receive, he substitutes the things of the flesh as proofs that a person is saved or is a Spirit filled Christian. The sad thing is that he deceives others.
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
19 ¶ The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
This will literally be effected at the White Throne Judgment of the wicked, unsaved dead.
Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
The gate is the seat of power, it’s where the judges and elders in an ancient city sat to give judgment.
Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
2Samuel 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
This sort of gives one an idea of the true meaning of this verse;
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
But, back to the verse at hand. We can look forward to the day when Christ rules over all, in the Millennium and in eternity.
Here are references to the Millennial reign of Christ.
2Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
20 ¶ The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.
This is so obvious today that you hardly need to expound on it. Everyone has heard the apocryphal story of a guy winning the lottery and how suddenly he has friends he never knew before and more relatives that love him than he can shake a stick at. Whereas, before, he was just an anonymous face in the crowd who no one gave much thought to. We don’t tend to regard very highly people who can’t do anything for us. No one WANTS to move into a poor neighborhood and have a poor person as their neighbor. It just happens sometimes.
But everyone would certainly like to have that proverbial rich uncle who, when he passes on, leaves them an inheritance. But, remember what Christ said in Matthew 11:8. The people wanted His messenger to come from power and wealth, heard everywhere, but John the Baptist was in the wilderness, wearing animal skins, eating locusts and honey. Jesus Himself didn’t even own a home that was His own as He pointed out in Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58.
In the beginning Christianity was a faith that was composed of a great many poor and even slaves as it points out that not many noble or powerful are called in 1 Corinthians 1:26. The world is rich in goods and the true church is despised and rejected by men. There is no advantage to being a Bible Believing Christian, in the world’s eyes. There’s no money in it, if it’s true. We are sojourners on this earth (see 1 Corinthians 4:13). The world respects huge churches and cathedrals with priests dressed in fine robes but not the simple country church with people with no political influence or influence in the greater business world. The rich, by the world’s standards, has many friends, but is bound for a lake of unquenchable fire, while the poor in this typology has little in this world but great riches to come because he owns ALL things and is a friend to the creator of the universe. (Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23).
21 ¶ He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
Speaking of the poor neighbor who is hated and despised, here is a literal turn for the Hebrews living in the kingdom of Israel on how they were to conduct themselves toward the poor. There are many restrictions on how the Hebrews were to treat the poor and mistreatment and contempt for them were soundly condemned.
From a literal perspective, if you take this in context with the last verse, the Hebrew was not to hold his poor neighbor in contempt but to have mercy on him. Happy is a promise, as we have seen by its connection with being blessed in Genesis 30:13. We, too, can take this admonition to heart literally as we are told in Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 2 Corinthians 9:9; Galatians 2:10 and context for all of them, specifically for the poor saints. So, specifically, the Christian church has a responsibility to take care of its poor. There is no excuse for a church to focus on million dollar mortgages, gymnasiums, retreats, and getaways while there are elderly people in the church who can’t pay their power bills or buy food. It is not for us to turn over our poor to Caesar and say, it is enough that we have a warm building in to meet in on Sunday and things to keep the young people occupied.
Who here has a serious and realistic need that they can’t meet and no family to help them with it? Should not the church come to their aid, by all of the admonitions throughout the Bible on how the kingdom of Israel and the church were to treat their members? Charity can specificially be defined as to how a Christian treats and cares for their brethren. So, reading 1 Corinthians 13 takes on a whole new meaning, rather than the empty “love” of the modernists.
22 ¶ Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.
The contrast here shows that those who devise evil should not expect mercy and truth. Those people who plot the machinations of world politics, moving armies around the world, firing weapons that kill promiscuously, and bringing death and destruction on the common man after brainwashing him that what he is doing is an act of patriotism and a noble calling, whether he be North Korean, Iranian, Frenchman, German, American or Chilean is wicked and evil and they can expect nothing from God in the way of mercy and truth.
On the normal scale the person who is always thinking of ways to do wrong, to sin, to lead others down the path to death and destruction, cannot expect mercy and truth from God. You might be sitting here right now thinking of how you can beat the IRS or your employer, your employees, or deceive your spouse or your parents. What you’re thinking is not going unnoticed by God.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
But, those who plan things that God considers good, He holds out mercy and truth for them. To spread the gospel, to help the poor and elderly, to be kind and loving to people, especially the household of God, are good things and the things we are to be occupied with. Think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 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.
23 ¶ In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
Work has value but spending all your time running your mouth leads to poverty which Luke 21:4 shows us that penury is the opposite of abundance and in fact, as per the verse in Luke implies more than just being poor, but having nothing. For those so inclined that is the definition given in Webster’s 1828.
God honors hard work, even if the worker receives little in this life but a broken back and a worn out body. The Puritan cliché’s that have come down to us show the early Colonial American Christian’s view of work and idleness as in ; “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, and “an afternoon’s idleness is like an afternoon’s drunkenness”.
In the New Testament God has specific admonitions about work.
1Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
2Thessalonians 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
And there is one really clear verse about people, women in particular, who like to flap their gums and make trouble.
1Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that God honors the working man, if the work is gained honestly and does not place any value on the person who spends more time flapping their gums than putting in a day’s labor.

24 ¶ The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
The crown is what you are identified with, and your reward. It defines your life. The crown of the wise is their riches. A wise man’s wealth doesn’t reside in money and all the trappings that go along with it. His riches are his wisdom. Jesus Christ is our wisdom.
1Corinthians 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
The wise person receives Christ and He is their wisdom and their riches. The fool is capable only of wearing folly as a crown as he rejects the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Psalm 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
25 ¶ A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
A true witness is the one who tells the truth of the gospel to save souls from Hell. But there are many deceitful witnesses who lie and twist the truth of the Bible to obtain their own agenda. There are only two types of religion in the world; the true one is salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the other is “salvation” by following some list of rules and regulations. One, is by faith and one is works.
Satan is so deceptive that even among those who believe in salvation by faith in Christ there are preachers and teachers who keep trying to put the Christian back under the Law, with his or her salvation contingent upon how they follow the parts of the law the preacher or teacher prefers (as no Judaizer agrees with the whole Law) or contingent upon new things that have been added by custom and tradition.
Look at the contrast here. The true witness delivereth souls, something not attributed to the false witness because he speaks lies. You can’t get saved by following a works based religion. You don’t stay saved by following that works based religion. The deceitful witness can’t help but speak lies because it makes them feel more powerful and gives them control over the body of Christ or deceived unsaved people in some respect. I think of the priest who demands that people worship Christ not as the living body of Christ on earth but with himself as the mediator between God and man which is blasphemy.
The true witness saves souls and edifies the saved while the deceitful witness keeps them in bondage to Satan, their own flesh, and the world.
26 ¶ In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Godly fear is not the kind of fear you might have of a worldly king, although Americans know nothing about fearing authority;
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
2Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
But, the fear of the Lord, the fear of God, Godly fear, is a reverence and an acknowledgment of who and what He is. It is the fear that one has for a parent whom one loves and believes is all powerful. When we realize that God has absolute control over every event and that nothing happens that He does not either cause to happen or permit to happen as He is the sovereign over the whole universe but that THIS king who controls events in Alpha Centauri out in space or in China’s governmental councils also dictates every event you personally will experience today and that He loves us as His very own children. We get angry and are confused and hurt when bad things happen to us because we have NOT committed ourselves to God’s authority by way of Godly fear. We must remember that we are chastised because He loves us like a father lives a child. But, with regard to the verse at hand;
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
In the following verse, the Bible defines what the active result of the fear of the Lord is in our lives, notice that God defines evil here as pride, arrogancy, and the evil way.;
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
The Bible defines confidence as trust;
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Psalm 118:9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
Micah 7:5 Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.
Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
We have confidence in God and He is our refuge.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
2Samuel 22:3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
Psalm 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Psalm 94:22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
The fear of the Lord is a strong confidence in the life that Christ promises. The result of the proper fear of the Lord is salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By receiving Christ the Christian leaves the snares of the second death and will live forever.
28 ¶ In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.
Here is a common warning and very good advice for a king that is often disregarded, and certainly was by the ancient Oriental kings, but also by our more modern leaders in the twentieth century. I’m going to bring it really close to home. By our leader’s approval of a “right” to abortion we, our country, has exterminated 40 million to 50 million potential taxpaying citizens since 1973. This mass murder has gone on under the guise of the right of a women to choose. Some have said that this reduction in potential citizens has harmed our government’s ability to fund its programs. Others, of course, insist that most of these people would have been a drain on government programs. We’ll never know the truth on this side of death but this Proverb explains that a king is benefited by a large following, a large populace, and that when he is in want of people his reign is doomed.
Many historical world leaders have flung their youth into combats that have killed millions of them and diminished or eliminated the ruler’s ability to govern. One hundred million people died in wars in the twentieth century. Entire regions have become depopulated in historical wars. For instance, in the 1600’s one sixth of Germany’s population was killed in a long war. Entire cities were wiped clean of people.
A wise ruler would take care to ensure his people’s prosperity and to ensure the sanctity of the basic family unit as the cornerstone of civilization. The ruler, the government, is there, from a practical point of view for the whole purpose of preserving the family structure, which is the basis of his or her power. When a ruler attacks the family, makes likely the slaughter of multitudes of his own subjects, and encourages the conditions upon which their replenishment is unlikely then he himself is doomed.
The western nations based on people of European descent are not reproducing themselves fast enough to prevent their total absorption into immigrant populations. We have been lead to this point by often well meaning but misguided leadership who did not avail themselves of this important Proverb. What other nations accomplished foolishly by war in the destruction of millions of their own people, we have accomplished by permitting and even encouraging women to murder their offspring.
29 ¶ He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
Here is a contrast between the impulsive, quick tempered and the person who is slow to abiding anger. Being hasty of spirit, or what Matthew Henry calls “unbridled passion” will destroy you. Our culture, through many movies glorifies the impetuous youth, the “Rebel Without a Cause”, the wild child sort of thing. If you meet a young person who seems to be all raw emotion, quick temper, and spontaneity you had better be very wary because what appears to be youthful enthusiasm and passion turns quickly into stupidity and a wasted life. There is little more ridiculous than an old person who can’t control their temper. Prisons are full of people who chose not to control their passions and who acted impulsively. Develop a slow fuse and consider the consequences of your emotional outbursts. Just a warning.
Psalm 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
30 ¶ A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Here, envy is placed in opposition to a sound heart and the sound heart is said to be the life of the flesh. Envy rottens the bones.
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Proverbs 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
The root problem of envy is not being grateful to God for what you have and what you are. All of us have experienced envy at some time. You wish you had a face like that, or were as tall as him, or had a ministry like his, or a house like theirs, or a job like that, and you resent that person who has what you don’t. You might even hate the person who got the promotions or the pay raise you were hoping for, even believed you were entitled to, or who got the sale you thought you should have gotten. You envy your competition, your boss, your spouse, your friend. Envy and coveting go hand in hand although envy is also linked to jealousy and hatred.
Christians are supposed to be content with Christ, with having Him, and not be always discontent and uneasy about their lot in life. After all, most of us are not what we would have dreamed of being when we were young because of our own sin, our own unwillingness to do right, and our own shortsightedness. Christianity is the antithesis of what is considered to be the “good life” of the American. We are to be content, not to covet, not to be envious, and to always be grateful for what we have and where we are. The essence of what it means to be an American is to want what the Brad Pitt’s Achilles said in the movie, Troy, in response to the question, “What do you want?”. He said, “what every man wants. More.”
Envy is not only wicked. It will destroy you. The only saw, “keeping up with the Joneses” is not just about wanting to make a better life, its about coveting what someone else has. It is NOT ambition to do better and to be better at what you are, to develop a skill and master it. It is the sin of wanting what someone else has (coveting, lusting after) and hating them for having it. What have you been envious of or who have you envied?
31 ¶ He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
A long time ago American lawmakers and activists recognized that unbridled greed, not accompanied by any guiding Christian principles but only regarding profits as a god, oppressed those who had not and so began a long series of business regulation enacted to protect people from oppression. Unfortunately, the legislators exempted themselves from most of the rules and went overboard with unnecessary regulations that kill job making.
The Proverb here shows that to oppress the poor is to insult and to condemn God. You can’t even begin to say you honor and exalt God if you have no mercy on the poor.
Mark 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always
Paul talks about the poverty in the New Testament church and the inequality among the brethren which, of course, frightens some Americans because it sounds so much like the dreaded “socialism”. It has nothing to do with that. What God calls for is equality in the Church, a voluntary attitude. Socialism is equality from the barrel of a gun.
2 Corinthians 8:7 ¶ Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
People are poor for many reasons, none of which matter in this Proverb. What is concerned here is that you realize that oppressing the poor, taking advantage of them, and making their plight worse, is not showing respect for God, but just the opposite. Some people take this to what might be considered an extreme. They think that you purchasing sneakers from a company that uses young children in poor countries and paying them pennies a day for long hours is your own compliance with oppressing the poor. Some believe that your vote for a congressman or senator who votes to give a $20 million dollar fighter plane to a government that has masses living near starvation is your compliance with oppressing the poor. Some people believe that you buying clothing made by slave labor in Communist China rather than American union made products is your compliance in oppressing the poor. You decide. Whatever your answer you’ll answer to God when you stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
32 ¶ The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
The wicked unsaved, those who reject Christ, have the future in the first passage waiting for them. The righteous, who are only righteous because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to them, have hope in death. What is that hope?
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
33 ¶ Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.
All through Proverbs so far wisdom and understanding have been linked and the attitude and behavior of fools has been made apparent. Christ is our wisdom. Only a fool would reject that free gift of salvation. Ask the person who will not receive Christ. How will you spend eternity? Most will say they don’t know but since they’re not so bad they shouldn’t have a bad time. Very few people will actually admit that they think they’ll cease to exist as if they had never been born. Most people will just whistle in the dark when the subject comes up.
Here, it is said that wisdom rests in the heart of him that has understanding. A prudent man reveals his knowledge and his wisdom in the right time and at the right place. The fool is ostentatious and is always shooting off their mouth and drawing attention to themselves. In fact, it is the character of fools that makes them hunger to be in the spotlight, to have attention paid to them. The fool needs constant attention and their way is always made known. This is the take that Matthew Henry gives as he begins with “modesty is the badge of wisdom”. A fool makes more effort to show his folly than a wise man does to show his wisdom.
So, let me ask you this. When you are witnessing or “flying your Christian flag” are you doing it to exalt and glorify Christ or just because you crave attention, even bad attention. Is it even a mixture of the two diluting your service for Christ?
Another question might be this. Do you take great delight in talking about a skill or talent you have and being the center of attention and yet don’t seem to have much enthusiasm for talking about Christ? Is your athletic skill or looks or career a great source of personal attention getting and your salvation and testimony almost an embarrassment?
34 ¶ Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Here is one that should be set over the Capitol Building in Washington. Who knows? Maybe it is somewhere among the hundreds of sayings that grace government buildings. Another verse would be a great accompaniment.
Psalm 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.
This Proverb is for all nations at all times. All nations are degraded by their prosperity and their wealth and fall into depravity and wickedness, even by pagan standards, before they fall. Roman Republican virtue can be contrasted with the decadence of Imperial Rome as the Protestant work ethic of parts of Colonial America can be contrasted with the ‘gimme gimme’ attitude of the modern American.
We tolerate things now and watch for entertainment on television things that would not have even crossed the average person’s mind in 1700’s America. Our nation is so slimy, weasily, and sick that, as Ruckman says in his commentary, “if this proverb is true, America has had it”, meaning we’re done for as a nation. Every known perversion and wickedness is practiced here, almost all openly. There is a porn site for every possible fetish, many of which you probably haven’t even heard of. Our leaders can commit adultery and destroy their families, be divorced multiple times, and who knows what else, and still get elected to office so the people are as much to blame as the leaders are.
One reading of Isaiah will show you that America has a lot in common with ancient Israel in its decline. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, most people don’t realize that we’ve sunk so low morally in comparison with where we stood before. Now, I’m not one of the foolish ones as Ecclesiastes says who talks about the good old days as there never were any good old days. Colonial America drank three times the amount of alcohol per person than we do today. Employees were oppressed by the rich and had no one to turn to for help. Abused women and children had no redress from the law nor protection from society. Old people who could not work and had no family would as likely starve or die without an opportunity for even the poor medical treatment of the time. There were parts of the country where there wasn’t a church for a hundred miles. At one point after the Revolution someone even wrote down that he thought Christianity itself would die out in America within a generation.
However, the one thing that has always characterized Americans until recently was that our standard of ethics was always way higher than our actual morals. We knew when we were wrong and so called revival meetings would bring thousands of saved and unsaved people out to repent of their wickedness. Today, our ethics, our standards have been brought very low , down to meet our actual morals, the way we live, so that we aspire to nothing, or rather to the morals of an alley cat, and I apologize to cats considering the depravity of human beings here.
The church was always the hope of America, the backbone of the nation with regard to sin. When the moral behavior of the church reflected the lack of morals of the greater population America was doomed. Notice;
1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Paul is talking about professing Christians here departing from the faith.
2Timothy 3:1 ¶ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Again, read the context and see that Paul is referring to people in the church. America’s downfall is the downfall of evangelical Christianity of fundamentalism. As I have said before, it began when Americans placed more faith in the goodness of government than in the goodness of God, more trust in their own righteousness than in the righteousness of Christ, and more faith in the power of their military and their dollar, than in the power of the Almighty. Your level of intelligence and sophistication in modern day America is based on how much perversion you tolerate and how many lies you can swallow and spit back out at one sitting at Satan’s table. Well, I’ll say this to my fellow Americans, including fundamentalists. You should have paid more heed to the Colonial American saying, “when you sup with the devil you better use a long spoon.” (mention Kotchenruder sermon and Pastor on virtue).
We pitched out tent toward Sodom, as a nation, a long, long time ago. I’d say there’s a good couple of hundred sermons that could come out of this Proverb.
35 ¶ The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.
Now, after all of these Proverbs on wisdom can we, as Christians, not see a spiritual application can be made with this very practical proverb regarding our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and how we will stand before Him one day to give account for what we have done in the flesh?
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
But the spiritual application is limited as we are not under God’s wrath, even the worst of us who believe and are saved.
1Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Literally, this verse can only be applied to the Jews under the Law as it regards a king and a servant, wrath and shame. An unsaved Gentile was never God’s servant.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Latest Reading

The Life of the Honorable William F. Cody by himself. This is a very entertaining and politically incorrect autobiography of Buffalo Bill and the discussions of Wild Bill Hickock only add to the fun. Some things you might not know about the old west can be found in this book that are very enlightening. It must have been an amazing time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Proverbs, Chapter 13 commentary

1 ¶ A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
Let’s go back to a previous verse.
Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
A scorner isn’t a good thing to be and we’ll run across him again in Proverbs. This verse is obvious and is a great subject for a sermon but for understanding the Bible we don’t need to go into too much detail except that once again, if you can’t handle criticism or rebuke, when you are wrong, and I’m not saying that any self righteous, “hey, I’m spiritually all that and a bag of chips”, who comes along to tell you that you aren’t living up to THEIR expectations is right, then you have a spiritual problem. When honest, Biblical rebuke comes your way you need to think on it and pray about it.
Particularly, a wise son or daughter listens to their parents’ instruction.
2 ¶ A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
The idea of eating violence shows this to be a metaphorical statement where an idea, like eating, which usually means food, becomes a metaphor for an action you receive. Here it is said that good things will happen to a man by the good things that come out of his mouth, such as encouraging, uplifting, or edifying words while the SOUL of the transgressors shall eat violence.
Think of this in today’s terms. The Christian professes their faith in Christ, spreads the gospel, and speaks good words and God blesses that good particularly the good of declaring your trust in Christ, those words, if genuine, guaranteeing eternal life. The soul of the person who rejects Christ will suffer violence forever and ever, as in eternity.
Here’s another metaphor in the Bible;
Job 11:12 For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's COLT.
Obviously, no one believes that a person is born with hooves and a tail, braying and kicking at the doctor’s and nurses. This is a metaphor. The Bible is full of them but some people don’t care to be discerning enough to recognize them.
Back to the verse here in Proverbs, Matthew 12:37 makes this idea abundantly clear.
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

3 ¶ He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
The Biblical definition of “to keep” is “to guard” as in the Keep of a Castle, a prominent tower which was the last stand of defense in attack. Again, one of the main principles of God’s words are that you need to know how to WATCH YOUR MOUTH!! What you say has a profound impact on people around you and says a lot about you as a person and as a Christian. Jesus has said in Matthew 15:11;
“Not that which goeth into the MOUTH defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the MOUTH, this defileth a man.”
4 ¶ The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Another repeated warning in the Bible is that lazy people are always wanting and never having anything. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, referred to a group of people whose gods must have been called by the names, Poverty and Helplessness, and they sure were faithful to them. Many people are poor because they will do nothing for themselves but will always depend on others to do for them.
Now, for a spiritual application, notice that the soul of the diligent shall be made fat, of course, as a consequence of their diligence. Taking for a moment into consideration that the soul and the body are spoken of interchangeably in the Old Testament because the soul is not separated from the sins of the body until the new birth (Colossians, chapter 2 is an important reference on this point), let’s look at the life of the Christian for a moment.
Job 34:3 For the EAR TRIETH WORDS, as the mouth tasteth meat.
If you are too lazy to feed yourself on the word of God daily and often or to come to church to hear God’s word preached then you will always find that your faith is wanting and that you are in need of someone else to encourage you, to lift you up, because you simply don’t want to take the time to allow God to speak to you through His word. But, he or she who is diligent about God’s word in studying it and reading it and hearing it, their soul shall be made fat, which was a sign of prosperity until about 40 years ago when it became a sign that you needed to buy a pair of running shoes and a sweat suit, but that’s another story.
Face it, sluggard, you use excuses to avoid God like, “I can’t read well”. Okay, then you can listen. “I don’t have time to listen”. Then I suspect you aren’t listening to gospel songs or hymns or sermons on CD by your favorite celebrity. I don’t care if the singing of the Foursquare Goody Gospel Quartet brings
tears to your eyes or if the preaching of Reverend I. Standonthepulpitshoutingspewingspitoverthefirst-fiverows gets your blood going. You need to hear God speaking to you through His word. You need to read it. You need to hear your own preacher and other men you can see right in front of your eyes and ask questions of afterward. Good hymns and good preaching on the radio or CD player are great for the Christian’s soul but they are not a substitute for God speaking directly to you from His very words or your own preacher preaching to you from that word, unless you don’t really believe they are God’s words in the Bible. You’ll answer for that.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, GIVE ATTENDANCE TO READING, to exhortation, to doctrine.
2 Timothy 2:15 STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And, for the Judaizers among us who want to put us back under the Law there’s;
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
See, there’s no way around it, not under the Law or under Grace, thou sluggard.
5 ¶ A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.
Remember, among other verses, this proverb;
Proverbs 12:22 ¶ Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
When was the last time you lied to the IRS? How about the local township or borough? What about your spouse or child? There are no such things as harmless, little white lies. A lie is a lie. How casually do you lie to yourself? How easy is it for you to change something you did just to make it easier for others to accept?
6 ¶ Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
Again, this principle is important and has been repeated in different ways. Our faith in and trusting on Christ, recognizing His demands on us, will keep us standing up following Him. But, the very fact that the sinner rejects Christ overthrows Him. There are many sermon illustrations that can be had from this verse about doing right and the consequences of doing wrong, but, since our righteousness is only the imputed righteousness of Christ and not anything we’ve generated from our own flesh, and that the only thing that sends you to eternal agony is the rejection of Christ this application came to mind.
Make a boxing analogy about consequences and decisions.
7 ¶ There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Both of the commentators I’ve been reading after I wrote down my own thoughts agreed that this is a contrast between the person who wants the world to think he or she is wealthy, lives ostentatiously, pretentiously, and vainly but is in reality poor and heavily in debt and the person who has much but puts himself over as being impoverished to the world in order to keep people from stealing from him or asking anything of him. Both are said to be wicked people because the one puffs himself up for no reason and the other denies his surplus to help the poor or the work of the church.
Spiritually speaking I would point out this verse in Revelation written to the Laodicean church;
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

There be many in Christianity who think themselves spiritually rich who are impoverished. In fact, one of the prerequisites for entering into Christ’s physical kingdom of Heaven is to realize that you are spiritually bankrupt and impoverished which, as I have read, is often the explanation of this verse in what the Catholics call The Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Then there are those who have much to offer God’s work, many contacts, a large number of people who respect them and will hear them, but they remain silent, usually for fear of rebuke or criticism of men. They have been mightily blessed by God but for some reason, like the servant in the parable, prefer to bury their blessing, to sit on it, and not to use it for God’s glory. This, too, is a great evil.

Are you a spiritually bankrupt and impoverished person trying to look like one of the Apostles to others or are you someone God has blessed in a great way who is close mouthed and doesn’t want others to know what you believe lest you should face ridicule? I could see some great sermons coming out of this one.

8 ¶ The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
One of the pitfalls of acquiring wealth is that you get this target put on you for people, as in government, to go after your wealth, and for people in private to envy you and cast aspersions at you for having money. In the church there is often class envy and expectation that the wealthy member is a endless supply of money for projects and building funds. Paranoia can accompany wealth so that you can’t trust those who were once your closest friends. Family can become a nuisance especially if they have their hand out. No one is going to condemn the poor for having too much money, obviously. As our country has become socialist over the last century there has developed an assumption that if you have money you must have gotten it dishonestly. That’s part of the propaganda process for socialism, that you must automatically assume that wealth by its very nature must be an ill gotten gain. FDR even proposed to Congress in the early 1940’s that no American be allowed to keep after tax earnings above $25K, about $260k in today’s money.
Spiritually, the more riches you have in Christ, the more the world wants to kill you. Christians in foreign countries are targeted, even if peaceful and law abiding, simply for trusting in Christ. The closer their walk with Christ, the more the culture in which they live hates them. The nominal Christian, the more blasé’ he or she is about their faith, the less they have to worry. In our country people don’t usually get worked up about your faith unless you are politically active or don’t respect their private property as in their home, or are deliberately obnoxious as in standing on a street corner with a megaphone screaming Bible verses and insults that can barely be understood or, if at work, you have your nose out of joint at “their worldly ways” and have nothing to offer your coworkers but an “I don’t think that’s right” coming out of your mouth every few seconds. But, that is changing. One day you’ll be asked what you believe and you will suffer, as in the Roman Empire, just for believing it. The more the fruit of the Spirit you show the more they’ll peg you down as one of them.
In most of the world, though, right now, spiritual riches mark you, and the local magistrate wants to put you away and take your possessions for not honoring Allah, Brahma, or anyone of a thousand versions of Satan they worship in that particular country. Perhaps it is the atheistic god of Marx. If the average person in a Muslim country, no matter what he personally believes, is spiritually poor he can just go along to get along and be fine. I don’t believe the vast majority of people actually believe in Christ, Allah, Buddha, etc. I just believe they want to identify with the predominant group in their country. That’s how it used to be with us. Most people honored Christianity, not because they believed in Christ or trusted Him necessarily, but because they wanted to identify with the group. The group now, here in the West, identifies with Sodom and Gomorrah as that is the predominant religion in America, self worship.
But, riches, physical or spiritual, make you a target and are coveted by others. Poverty makes you invisible except to a politician looking for someone to throw money at in exchange for votes.
9 ¶ The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
John 1:4-9 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Now, go back to Genesis, chapter 1:3-5.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Now, notice this in John 13;
13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against
the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

And then this to this church and to us in Romans 13:12;

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Christ is the light of the righteous, those who trust in Him, and those who are made righteous by His righteousness. We live in the night, as His light does not physically sign in this world except through us. But, the night is far spent and soon He’ll return and that will be morning.

Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Christ represents the light of dawn breaking through the blackness of night. He is our light. We rejoice because of that light. The wicked unbeliever’s light shall soon be extinguished.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this thejudgment:

This is not to say that Christ is created light but to make a typological comparison with the light of Christ and the darkness of the wickedness of this present world, in case someone feels argumentative.

10 ¶ Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Notice how pride and contention are placed in contrast to well advised and wisdom. Here is a comment in Philippians, chapter 1 by Paul about how the gospel was even preached in his day while he was locked up.
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? Notwithstand-ing, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Contention is used repeatedly in the rest of Proverbs, as we shall see, and refers to an argument, a disagreement, or a person who is argumentative or disagreeable. A contentious person is someone you would do well to stay away from, ignore, or let them know right off the bat that you aren’t going to tolerate their stuff. Pride, which we know was Satan’s primary sin, goes hand in hand with contention.

Obviously, a wise person is not contentious. A well advised person is not, either. The point made here is that you don’t get an argumentative person or a contentious person except by the fact of their great swelling pride. The contentious nature of our politics and our families is the result of ungodly pride. Only by pride does contention come. The wise man or woman is not contentious. We used to say about certain people that they’d argue with a stop sign. This is not an admirable character trait and has nothing to do with being an independent thinker but with just being a pain in the neck.

A person who has wisdom will consult the Holy Spirit through the Bible, the counsel of Godly friends and relatives, his Pastor, and others before considering an action. The prideful man seeks only his own counsel before he flies off the handle.

Make a boxing analogy.

11 ¶ Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
This might be the wealth that entertainers and athletes make in our modern day culture. Vanity is empty and devoid of meaning.
Man’s religion is vanity.
2 Kings 17: 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.

His gods are vanity.

Psalm 31: 6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

Jeremiah 8: 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them
that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?

Jeremiah 14: 22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can
the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore
we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

All of his aspirations and earthly hopes are vanity as are the things he worries about, frets over, and takes pride in.

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Wealth gotten by vain things; such as a woman making money from her looks, or a man depending on physical sporting skill has far less value to God than someone who earns their living by labor. It is a general rule, right now, although not applicable in every case, but apparent enough that we can see it, that celebrities make a living from things that don’t endure, such as looks or athletic ability, things that fade quickly. However, the man or woman who actually earns their living by labor will increase. This is a promise under the Law, a literal promise to the Jews of ancient Israel, had Israel followed the Lord as they promised they would.

But look at the world around you now. We see case after case of rising stars that soon become falling stars. If you seek fame or celebrity status and desire to become famous and seen by many on the stage, TV, or movies you have a spiritual problem; I don’t care if you are George Clooney or Joyce Meier. The person who seeks self glory rather than God’s glory is a vain person and wealth gotten by vanity usually does not last.

If money comes easy to you, don’t expect it to stay long. If you have to earn it, you’ll respect it more, or should. Of course, this is a general principle and does not address someone stealing your hard earned living or you being reckless and irresponsible with it. Don’t blame God if you can’t handle the money you earn. Wishing for a lottery win or an inheritance from a long lost rich aunt won’t change the fact that you can’t handle money, it handles you.

12 ¶ Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
We all know that when we don’t get something we’ve hoped for in a time that is convenient in our minds we get disheartened and discouraged. Many of us have prayed for something we thought was necessary to us time and time again only to have no answer, it would seem. The people of ancient times looked for a redeemer, expected to see God face to face, and from the vantage point of a resurrected body as is evidenced by the oldest written book in the Bible; Job. This was written, some reckon as early as 2000 BC. While some have it only as old as 1800 BC.
Job 19: 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

Part of this expectation was met in the person of Jesus Christ walking on the earth but much of it was hope deferred.

Wisdom is called a “tree of life” back in Proverbs 3:18; the fruit of the righteous, those souls won for Christ, is called a “tree of life” in 11:30; a wholesome tongue in 15:4 is a tree of life, and in both Genesis and Revelation we have the tree of life which gives eternal life. Christ is our wisdom as has been pointed out, He is the righteous and we are only righteous because of Him, and He is the living Word of God, and only He grants eternal life as you compare each of the instances “tree of life” is used in Proverbs.

Christians are supposed to be;

“ Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13

Are you heart sick, waiting to be with Christ, to see Him face to face or do things of this world like the town lights when you’re trying to see the stars at night sort of block your vision of Him?

13 ¶ Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
To review, despise means to hold in contempt or to regard with low esteem. A 17th century person might have said that his friends despise him if they played a mean joke on him or mocked him. The Bible defines despise as it is used.
Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.

In Leviticus 26:15, 43 despise and abhor are linked. 1 Samuel 2:30 renders despised to be lightly esteemed or held in low regard in opposition of honor.

1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

In this verse, it is clearly said that the person who holds God’s word in low esteem, who lightly regards His commandments will be destroyed and He that fears them shall be rewarded. Now, clearly, under the Law, this is a promise to the Jews, IN THIS LIFE. It is also a clear promise to us, by extension.

Do you regard God’s word highly? Do you read it as much as you can every day or listen to it while driving in your car or doing housework? Does it take preeminence over entertainment on TV or the radio? Do you talk about it with your spouse and children? Is it on your mind a lot? Do you think about the difficult verses and try to place things in context? Do you rightly divide it? Do you let God speak to your heart through the words in this Book? Have you given the power of God’s word in your life a chance by giving it preeminence?

Or are you someone who holds God’s word in contempt? If not by your own words and thoughts, then by your actions, or lack thereof. The Waldensians of the Alps said;

“The Holy Scriptures alone are sufficient to sanctify the believer.” Their pastors or barbe had to memorize the entire New Testament so they could recite any part at will to someone they were witnessing too.

Do you even read it through? How many times have you read or listened to the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation?

14 ¶ The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
In older times there was a fountain in the center of many towns from which the citizen and the stranger could drink. We are to be a fountain of life to both our fellow Christians and to those people who are not a part of the household of faith in Christ. The words and law of the Living Word, Christ, lead to life and away from the traps, the snares of Satan, which are death.
Hebrews 2:14 ¶ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

15 ¶ Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
I want to restate something I said at the very beginning, when discussing the first four verses of chapter one;
“To perceive the words of understanding is very significant in that without understanding you can’t discern between good and evil.

1Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Understanding is mentioned seventeen times in the book of Job and is a major topic of that book including Job 32:8 that explains God’s inspiration. Mankind has had several things explained early on that he keeps asking the same questions about such as why do bad things happen to good people. God has explained also what is good and what is bad in His sight. Can you wrap your mind around it? Not if you don’t let Him speak to you through His Book rather than some twisted sermon on the radio or a CD you were given.

Animals don’t have understanding.

Psalm 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

Neither do some men in high places.

Psalm 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

Remember the commandments given to Christians I mentioned earlier, some of which I listed?

Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Do you have a good understanding? I want to read Galatians 5:22-26 aloud again, plus 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22.”

If you have understanding and peace through Christ and conduct yourselves in an honorable and honest way, with ethics and morals and standards, you will find favour, not only with God but with men. It is possible to think of yourself as a separate, sanctified believer and still be a skunk, a stench in the nose of other people, if you aren’t honest and forthright and dependable in your business dealings and with your family.
The way of the transgressor is hard. The person devoted to his or her sin and self worship, the one who will not deny himself in any matter, will find, most likely, that he will spend a great deal of time flat on his face and in need of help. Now, this is a general principle and certainly does not appear to be true 100% of the time as we have examples of bad actors having what seems to be an easy life. But, YOU can’t live on exceptions, which are exceptions for reasons you or I know nothing about.
If you use your salvation and your separateness as a cloak to hide behind, a cover for lying, cheating, and stealing, as I’ve seen some do, then you’ll have a hard time with the transgressors.
Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
2Corinthians 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
16 ¶ Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
One of the things that God has stressed to us through Solomon in Proverbs is that we are to be discrete. Look at 12:23 and 13:3 in conjunction with this verse. A prudent man and a fool are in opposition here. The prudent man deals with knowledge. We Christians not only have a hope of eternal life but we believe we have knowledge of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We believe the issues of eternity, for us, have been settled. We need to deal with the Bible in this way. We might not understand parts of it and verses might go right over our heads but we are certain it is God’s word and worth knowing in as many ways as we can know.
When we deal with other people, we need to stay on track and not let our personal prejudices or fears get in the way of our faith. The fool’s stupidity and irrational bigotry is open for all to see. He’ll dip back into the Law to justify his own self righteousness or to condemn someone else and then claim God’s grace when he can’t hide his mess-ups. He’ll scream Bible verses at people without any understanding and then proudly proclaim, “well, I did my part. They got the Bible preached at them, bless God”.
The fool will dump innumerable commandments, many of his own making, on other people, usually women if the fool is a man, or men if the fool is a woman, or children from an adult fool’s perspective. A fool is always trying to make life harder and justification more impossible for someone else while they are, of course, a sanctified, Godly man or woman of God. There are liberal fools who says it’s all good and don’t say Christ is the only way. After all, it’s all good. The fundamentalist fool makes it so that the only people on earth who’ve got it right or even have a chance of getting saved are people who think and act like him or her.
You know how you can tell the difference between a prudent preacher and a fool? The big news media will give all sorts of attention and airtime to fools but they will ignore a man who speaks from knowledge. Usually, they won’t even criticize or mock him. They’ll just ignore him, as if he doesn’t even exist. But, a fool? Why, he’ll be the darling of the news, either on a regular basis if he can maintain some semblance of sanity or, at least, for entertainment purposes when he wants to get his “fifteen minutes of fame”. The big news media will beat a well worn path to a fool’s door but they will run and hide when a prudent man speaks. Satan doesn’t like to take chances that someone might hear the truth.

17 ¶ A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
Matthew Henry says that a wicked messenger is an employee who doesn’t honor his master’s trust and doesn’t deliver the word he has been given, faithfully, while the faithful ambassador is a blessing to the one who sent him. It doesn’t take much to realize the implications for Christians. Those preachers, evangelists, and teachers who do not faithfully render the word of God to the people in the pews but use per(versions) like the NWT have become wicked messengers, not handling the word of God correctly or truthfully.
2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Then there are those wicked messengers who have the right Bible but keep trying to put the Christian under the Law given to Moses or perhaps to further their own political or personal agenda.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
If a member of any congregation who is faithful to reading their Bible, leaves a sermon confused and unable to reconcile the words they have heard with the clear truth of the Bible, rightly divided, have been done wickedly by God’s servant like the prophet in 1 Kings 13.
Wicked messengers are all around us these days, preferring to put forward, not the unadulterated words of God, but the tenets of the culture of Christianity that has grown in the last country on earth that even recognizes Christ’s importance. Things like “baptism saves you”, “if you had faith you wouldn’t be sick”, “Sunday is the Sabbath”, and other teaching that frustrated Paul in Galatians when he asked them, “..having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh?” That verse haunts me every day as I contemplate what it means to serve Christ.
A faithful ambassador doesn’t have to be without error to be faithful. He doesn’t have to be incapable of error to be health to the hearer. He simply has to put forward the most honest understanding of the Scriptures he can, what he thinks God has laid on his heart, praying that he not be deceived and that he deceive no one, and have no agenda other than salvation of souls and the teaching of disciples; the edification of the body of Christ.
18 ¶ Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Either under the Law or under Grace this is a clear statement and the possible subject of many great sermons. When you, young person, will not hear an elder’s advice about what you should study in school, you are consigning yourself to poverty and shame. Long before people foolishly said, “well, hon, its your life so whatever you feel drawn to…..” mother and father would say, “get a trade first and then you will have the money to go to school again, perhaps to study Art History or Medieval Poetry”, or “we’ll pay for a degree in business, engineering, or something practical and then if you want to study underwater Navajo basketweaving you can pay for it yourself”.
You see, receiving sound instruction, is essential to a successful life. Can you hear it? Can you listen to it? When you are criticized, even rebuked for exaggerating, a form of lying, or for being preoccupied with dressing so you appeal to the opposite sex, which is licentiousness, can you take the reproof and correct mistakes? God says over and over that a part of maturity is to be able to take instruction and reproof. I would go even further that He is saying to you that in order to be a mature Christian you must be able to accept such. We make a big deal in business about being flexible in your thinking but are you an inflexible Christian, a carnal Christian, who must have it his or her way and can’t accept reproof or correction?
Here, poverty and shame come with refusing instruction and reproof but honor comes to someone who has an ear for it and the mature soul that can bear it. The moral instruction that an elder gives to a young person is essential to that young person’s success and to his not falling into poverty and shame, but to receiving honor. Of course, it is hard to expect a young person to be able to do so when their parent’s can’t receive it.
19 ¶ The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
One of the great desires of a human being, besides to be loved, is to be happy. The Bible teaches that true happiness comes from being blessed by God.
Genesis 30:13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
The world says that to be happy one must have good luck and good circumstances. The Bible teaches that to be happy one must walk with God and be blessed by Him. The true Christian’s great desire is not works or a show of piety as Paul warned about in Galatians;
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Our desire should be to have a close walk with Christ, not by a show in the flesh like a Pharisee but by spiritual things;
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Do you not see how sweet it would be if those things were flowing out of you rather than paranoia, fear, anger, and uncertainty? These things are sweet to the soul. We should want to walk close with God and to experience the spiritual blessings He has in store for us, not to walk in the flesh obsessed with ritual and what we look like. If you’re going to “fly your Christian flag” then let it be by the fruit of the Spirit not by shows of fleshly piety and feigned spirituality.
By contrast, it is a terrible thing in the mind of a fool to depart from evil and malice. He believes that his sin is not only what he wants to do but is the right thing for him to do. He feels compelled to do it. He is driven by it like a Persian soldier was driven by a whip into battle. Just see how your old friends treated you when you stopped drinking or doing drugs with them or, guys, when you stopped chasing skirts. It’s as if they were appalled at YOUR behavior. They wanted nothing to do with you after the initial, “oh, so you’re too good for us now”. Your change in behavior and thought offends them.
But, when our desire is accomplished it is sweet to the soul. If you are driven to works of service for Christ by a sense of duty and compulsion again like a Persian soldier driven by the whip then that is of Satan, and of the flesh. It is when you are drawn by Christ, when you are lifted by the Holy Spirit and what you do is an act of joy and desire that you know it came from God. The desire accomplished is to walk closer and closer with Christ, to wait on Him and to let Him lead. But, it is an abomination for a fool to leave the twisted way he walks. These are two far extremes of thought in this verse.
20 ¶ He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Having the wrong friends is one of the worse things a young person can have. Do not be friends with loud, obnoxious people, people who love to do wrong, or to get over on someone like parents, or generally, Christians who don’t display the fruit of the Spirit. Avoid violent people. I like boxing. I enjoy sparring with people. What I don’t like is people that talk about how cool it is to hurt other people. I avoid people like that. There’s a sickness there, even if they are talking about that “other” like someone we might perceive as an enemy of God. People with a preoccupation for violent war, action, or horror movies, or who get emotional satisfaction from violent sports as in “I like to see ‘em get hit hard and go down and stay down”. These people have a spiritual problem.
Girls, avoid friends who like to show off, who want to be alluring or enticing to boys. Beware of girls who are excessively materialistic, and whose sense of self is based on how pretty they are. The important thing to remember is that you will become partly like who you hang around with.
When I was a young person I was that bad influence that people should not hang around. I tried to outdo other people in how wrong I could be. I cringe now when I remember friends telling relatives and other friends NOT to hang around me because I would corrupt them. Avoid people like that. There are no “cool” bad people. They are fools and they will destroy you. I remember hearing a friend warn his younger cousin when we were in New Orleans, “Don’t follow Fred. I have to answer to your mother.” I remember another friend being thankful I wasn’t with him when he and some friends were confronted by a motorcycle gang, “I’m so glad that Fred wasn’t with us. He’d have gotten us all killed.” These are not good things, not good memories now. They are nightmares, I pray, covered by the blood but terrible testimonies to a young, wasted life. Pick your friends very carefully. Pick good people, people filled with the Holy Spirit, who love the Lord and want to please Him, and not their own flesh.
If you walk with wise people, you, too will be wise. Your regrets will be few. If you walk with fools you’ll likely be destroyed along with them. Lot couldn’t stay in Sodom and not face the destruction. He had to depart from the wicked and go where God led him. So do you.
Young people, you will never meet a worthy lifetime mate IN A BAR. The boy or girl who flirts with you, do you think you’re the first person, that you’re so awesome, that they were overcome with your charm and good looks, that you’re the first person they’ve ever flirted with? And, you know what, even after you’re together as a married couple, you won’t be the last.
1Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
To even listen to the talk and babble of bad people, of people of bad faith, is to be corrupted by them. To associate with them is to bring destruction on yourself. The verse in 1st Corinthians is about bad doctrine, about denying the Lord’s resurrection, but I am applying it to other things as well.
21 ¶ Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
Evil as malice, maliciousness, wrongdoing, and wickedness chases and overtakes people who insist on playing with it. A sinner never escapes his sin if he insists on living in it. Sin always consumes the person who dabbles in it. You never escape sin by running with it, you have to turn from it. And, as a Christian, you yourself can’t turn from sin without the work of the Holy Spirit inside you unless you have just simply denied an impulse for now, as an act of will. In that case, sin just ducked behind a rock but it’s still coming after you.
Those sinners of us who live by their sin, who identify themselves as their sin, and you know what I mean, have, by an act of will, chosen to be their sin. Their identity is their sin. By virtue of this act of will the Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, says that they SHALL not, remember that shall is a consequence of an act of will that preceded it (we can do a whole class on will and shall as a consequence of it but one example might be Genesis 3:15 and others would be many verses in Revelation where some things shall happen as a consequence of something God has willed. The things that follow shall are not independent of the “will” before them), shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. It’s not that they couldn’t have, but they simply won’t. Their evil has pursued them and overtaken them.
1 Corinthians 6:9 ¶ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
And then, in talking about how we treat each other, Paul gives a warning. Now, some people who believe in millennial exclusion say that the following verses mean that if you do these things you will not be a part of the physical inheritance when the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven come together in the Millennial reign of Christ. Others, who are still in the eternal security camp, say that this reveals the people in the church organization, the birds that hide under the shadow of the branches of the Kingdom of God but who aren’t a part of it (Mark 4:32), who live by these things, are frauds, tares, fakes who will be rooted out. There are many other viewpoints. As for me, I am sticking by the implications revealed in the language between the will to do something and the shall that is a consequence.
Galatians 5: 13 ¶ For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Only by letting God’s word work through you and on you do you have a hope of overcoming sin. If you insist that your commitment to Christ, your spirituality is so great, your love for the Lord is so powerful, that you don’t need His word to cleanse you from sin then you will be a spiritual train wreck waiting to happen.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Evil pursues the sinner. But, just as it is said to the Christian in Galatians, chapter 6, we will reap what we sow.
Galatians 6: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
In this life, we have to trust that God will repay the good we do, however, let me point out that you should not be expecting a reward for something that you ought to be doing anyway. Many Christians think that ANY effort they make toward God should deserve an “attaboy”, which is like your child coming to you saying, “hey, Mom, I didn’t curse once today, break anything, beat up my little brother, or steal any of your stuff, what kind of reward am I going to get?” What are you, the Mafia, trying to extort blessings from God or are you the body of Christ?
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? 8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
22 ¶ A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
The obvious application to the Jews under the Law in the kingdom of Israel is very clear and needs no explanation. People who would wrest this from its historical context and try to apply it to us in this literal sense will talk about how, to be rich, means that you are good and that God is with you. I hear this, particularly from charismatic oriented brethren.
However, I think the real spiritual application, practically applicable to the Christian, in that we are not promised material wealth, is this. There is none good but God.
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
Jesus Christ was and is that good man who has left us, His children in a type as per the following verse, a spiritual inheritance, an inheritance of eternal life.
Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
See the following in context;
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
But, it gets even deeper, this verse in Proverbs. The reason America is in such a shambles is that Christians stopped reproducing. I’m not talking about having offspring in the flesh with their DNA and all that. I’m talking about, at some point, the children of Christians did not become Christians. Most everyone in America today, whose ancestors were here two hundred years ago or thereabouts, those ancestors had some kind of faith. How come their descendants don’t now? Why? Because, at a point in the 1800’s, during that great time of apostasy and Satan’s counterfeiting of Christianity, called by blind historians, religious and secular, as the Second Great Awakening, which gave us Charismatic religion, Mormonism, Charles G. Finney, and other like things, Christians began looking to the government to enforce religious dogma and to right all wrongs. “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”, was a reference to Union armies sweeping through the South, killing white and black alike, and annihilating everything in their path. Christianity, or at least the kind that we know, became carnal and fleshy and looked more to man, and not God, for a solution to society’s sins and problems. The welfare state was created that we have now by Christians wanting tax money taken, not church money freely given, to help the poor. The liberal Christian viewed the whole country as a church with the President as a kind of Pastor.
We went from Andrew Jackson refusing to have a national day of prayer and repentance over a cholera epidemic because “you have Pastors for that” and the state of Tennessee making it a law that Pastors could not hold public office to Abraham Lincoln declaring a day of Thanksgiving and now, if a person doesn’t declare himself to be a Christian, regardless of his proven character or lack thereof, we don’t hold him as qualified for office.
By depending on man instead of God or rather, man as giving God a hand, Christianity in practice lost its spiritual power. Christians supported the income tax amendment because it would substitute for the tax revenue lost on liquor if the government went along with the Billy Sunday types who wanted alcohol banned by law. We got liquor back but the powers that be didn’t return our income tax money, did they?
So, fundamental Christianity, Bible Christianity, if you will, was degraded by its hunger for political solutions to spiritual problems such as slavery, the abuse of women and children and other minorities, horrible working and living conditions, abortion (yes, there was a 19th century campaign against abortion that attacked it as a spiritual problem which was very successful as opposed to our modern walking arm in arm with the Catholic church). As political power replaced spiritual power in the Christian church and we turned over to government the New Testament Church’s function of providing for the unemployed, the elderly, and the sick among us with government unemployment benefits, social security, and Medicare/Medicaid we lost the power that emptied jails and bars during revivals in the 1800’s.
Don’t get me wrong. There were good things that came from this era; Sunday School, Charles G. Finney’s prayer benches, Wednesday night prayer meeting, Moody’s bus ministries (which were wagon’s back then) but there were also great monstrosities of perverse Christianity like the sermons during World War One that said if Christ were with us physically today he’d be in the infantry and have German guts hanging from his bayonet.
The good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children. But, they didn’t, did they? Perhaps, they lost their goodness by turning from the power of God to the fleshy strength of the arm of man.
The rest of the verse makes it plain that not only will the good leave an inheritance for their grandchildren but the wealth of the sinners will be theirs, as well. This will happen in the millennium, in the physical reign of Christ on earth for a thousand years. What’s left of all the great monuments of man and his cities, will be of no use to the sinner, burning in Hell. Or, perhaps, if you take the radical view, we have God’s word, translated by men of an apostate religion, Anglicanism, men whom God used in spite of the dictates of their own church organization, and we have the knowledge of the Waldensians of the Alps of pure, New Testament Christianity, in spite of the fact, that they themselves fell into apostasy after being shining lights for a thousand years and their church now is in the World Council of Churches. We, the good, if we hold onto Christ have inherited the wealth of sinners laid up for the just, who are the just, only because of Christ.
Will you leave your spiritual wealth for your grandchildren? Will you, young people, raise your children to be Godly Christians rather than apostate, hell bound sinners? Will you have daily devotions, daily Bible reading, and daily prayers with your family? DAILY? Will they hear you talk about what God has done for you and with you that day rather than what the boss or the world has done to you? Will you live as Christians before them in speech and deed or will you be a hypocrite and show them that God is just an idea and no more than that, to be honored when its convenient ? Will you lead them to Christ with faith, love, and joy particularly in times of suffering, or will you DRIVE THEM from the throne of God with paranoia, hatred, anger, and fear?
Look to the past. Ask yourself what happened to the children of Billy Sunday. Look it up. Where are the spiritual descendants of J. Frank Norris, the Texas Tornado? Are the buildings in which his churches met still churches today? Check it out. It’s either God or the world. You can’t trust in both for the salvation of your body and your soul. Decide now. For your children’s children.
23 ¶ Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
The poor person works hard to make the ground produce food and it usually does but bad decisions can destroy the fruit of his labor. If you work hard you will probably have more than enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. However, if you covet things you don’t need and use credit to buy them, with an abundance of credit cards and debt, or if you spend your food and rent money on unnecessary things you’ll probably lose what you’ve worked hard for. Don’t be careless with your credit rating or careless with the money you work hard to earn and you’ll keep it longer and live easier than if you use bad judgment.
Worldly money Rule #1 for young folks. Do not want something for nothing. That’s how scammers get you. They appeal to your own sin, your greed, your covetousness, and offer you something you didn’t earn. They’ll take everything you have. Only want those things which you have earned.
Worldly money Rule #2 for young folks. Live within your means. Your rent or mortgage should not exceed your gross paycheck for one week. You shouldn’t have more than one or two credit cards and they should never be used past half the credit available. Be responsible for your own old age by putting something of value that you can spend, away in small quantities each and every week, as long term savings that you never touch until you are too old or sick to work. Also save three months pay for emergencies and keep that topped off.
Worldly money Rule #3 for young folks. There is no free lunch. Everything has a price. The guy on the radio says that your windshield repair is free with most insurance policies. That’s a lie. You pay for your insurance. The guy on the radio says that the hovermobile for the elderly is free with Medicare. That’s a lie. Our taxes pay for Medicare so we all pay for your hovermobile. Somebody pays for everything.
Worldly money Rule #4 for young folks. Respect private property, yours and others.
Bad judgment; greediness, covetousness, living large, wanting a free ride, and not taking care of what you have, wanting more than what you need can put you under an overpass eating cold pork and beans out of a can and drinking rain water. Your hard work can produce much bounty with God’s blessing and your bad judgment can send it all down a rat hole.
Now, let’s look at a spiritual application of this verse.
Revelation 2:8 ¶ And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich)….
The Christian who is poor in worldly wealth but rich in spiritual treasures can gain much for God by his or her hard work as he or she tills the hearts of men to sow the gospel. You don’t have to have a rich church or lots of money for missions and programs and buses and a big sanctuary to produce a harvest for God.
24 ¶ He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
There are many verses of note regarding this worth reading which we will come to;
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. 14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
For young parents I would just give a warning. Correct your children but don’t do it out of anger. Don’t let your anger become wrath. Physical punishment, like spanking, can teach your child not to do wrong but if done when you are angry can teach a child that that is an appropriate response to someone who ticks you off. There is a huge difference between correcting a child for their own benefit with corporal punishment and hitting them because they annoy you. Remember, the reason you spank your child is not because they embarrassed or disappointed you by doing something that, by virtue of their age or physical ability or lack of coordination, they couldn’t help doing but because they did wrong and you want them to learn to do right. Don’t spank your child when you’re angry.
Another point would be regarding this, don’t let your child get away with things at home that you don’t want them to do in public. It is cruelty to permit a child to throw a tantrum in your kitchen with impunity and then to get all bent out of shape in a grocery store. I have known parents, and I was one of them, who used physical punishment at the wrong time and for the wrong reason. Your children belong to God and its your job to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not provoking them to wrath with inconsistent and inappropriate punishment. Many Christian parents punish their children “with the rod” simply because they’re embarrassed and there is no consistency or desire to improve the child but just a don’t tick me off attitude.
Prepare them to receive Christ, don’t make them psych ward cases. No child was ever hurt by a good spanking, though, with the right attitude by the parent. In fact, more children are hurt by not knowing their boundaries and by not having a parent who means business than by someone not afraid to discipline. A parent who loves their child will discipline them. Discipline is an act of love, not cruelty.

25 ¶ The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Again, we can look at this just as a literal, temporal statement regarding a promise made to physical Hebrews in the physical land of Ancient Israel if they had obeyed God or we can view this in light of what we know because of the New Testament. In doing that we realize that our spiritual food, God’s words in His Book will satisfy our soul but those who reject Christ, as unbelievers, as well as those who claim to be believers but despise God’s words, hold them in low regard, and with contempt are always hungry and never satisfied. They go from one new thing to another, one guru to another, searching hopelessly for some spiritual fulfillment. They are never satisfied because the truth is not in Joel Osteen, Rabbi Schneerson, Billy Graham, the Pope, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, or Sheikh Salman. The truth is Christ and in His Bible. We are to feed every day on it and be filled by it.
Here are some Biblical comparisons with scriptures and eating.
Job 12:11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?
Ezekiel 3:1 ¶ Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
Revelation 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.