Monday, December 14, 2009

Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV) Knowledge or Stupidity

Today, we are starting a new chapter in Proverbs, and this first verse speaks of the difference between those that thirst for knowledge and those that reject correction or training.

Proverbs 12:1

1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.

instruction: 1. a direction or order 2. the process or act of imparting knowledge; teaching; education

knowledge: 1. The state or fact of knowing. 2. Familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study. 3. The sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned.

correction: 1. The act or process of correcting. 2. Something offered or substituted for a mistake or fault

stupid: 1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse. 2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes. 3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless

Using the definitions of the main words in today’s verse, we find that those that love receiving directions or orders that help them to learn will find that they will come to love HAVING that knowledge… it comes in handy so often somewhere along the line. Others also end up looking up to knowledgeable people.

In contrast, those that dislike or “hate” being corrected and being taught correctly, will find that they will be slower to learn. They will also tend to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.

As we have seen in so many verses in this book, God wants us to seek wisdom and knowledge BECAUSE He doesn’t want us to make poor decisions and careless mistakes throughout our lives. He wants us to have abundantly blessed lives because He loves us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Proverbs 11: 31 Reap What You Sow

Proverbs 11: 31 (NKJV)

31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.

recompense: Payment in return for something

ungodly : 1. Not revering God; impious. 2. Sinful; wicked

Today’s verse is the last one in this chapter, and is another way of saying, “You will reap what you sow.” It tells us that those that are morally upright, and without guilt or sin, will receive a “just” payment for the way they have lived. We have seen, in other studies, that living wisely (following God’s Will and ways) bring rewards in our lives here on earth in the blessings that God pours out on us: Peace, Joy, Love, etc.

The second part of this verse says that those that don’t follow God’s way, but choose to live in a sinful and wicked way, will also be “payed back” for the things that they do. We need to remember to build our "house" or life, upon the rock of God and not the sand of Sin.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Proverbs 11: 30 Fruit of the Righteous

Proverbs 11: 30 (NKJV)

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

The following definitions were taken from the Online Dictionary

fruit: Result; outcome (in this usage of the word)

righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin

tree of life: A tree in the Garden of Eden whose fruit, if eaten, gave everlasting life

wins: To achieve success in an effort or venture

soul: 1. The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity. 2. The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state. 3. A person considered as the perfect embodiment of an intangible quality; a personification 4. A person's emotional or moral nature:

Using these definitions, we see that this verse tells us, those that follow a life of righteousness will have the result of gaining everlasting life. Also, they are wise if they achieve success in bringing another person’s immortal, moral nature into a relationship with God so that they can become morally upright and without sin (through the salvation Christ offers).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Proverbs 11: 29 Heir or Servant

Proverbs 11: 29 (NKJV)

29 He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

heir: 1. A person who inherits or is entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit the estate of another. 2. A person who succeeds or is in line to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office. 3. One who receives or is expected to receive a heritage, as of ideas, from a predecessor.

v. troubles: 1. To agitate; stir up. 2. To afflict with pain or discomfort. 3. To cause emotional strain or anxiety to; worry or distress. 4. To inconvenience; bother

servant: 1. One who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another

The first part of today’s verse talks about a person who agitates, or stirs up problems in their own home. This type of person brings worry, distress and emotional strain to all those around them. A person of this type can cause so much trouble that they could be “kicked out” or “disinherited” from the family, thus inheriting nothing but “wind/air” in the long run.

The second part of the verse goes on to say that a person that is foolish like this, will end up serving or owing others who are “wise of heart.” In past verses, we have seen that, in the Bible, God considers a person to be “wise of heart” when they follow His leading and teachings in their lives.

Several of the “Fruits of the Spirit,” which grow in those that DO choose to follow God and become born again so that His Spirit lives within them, are attributes that would be the opposite of “stirring up troubles,” but instead, will bring peace and love into the family.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Proverbs 11: 28 Trust

Today’s verse speaks of trust. Some people trust in their own abilities to accrue riches, while others trust in God and His blessings because they are living a righteous life following His ways.

Proverbs 11: 28 (NKJV)
28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.

Here are the definitions, from the Online Dictionary, of our principle words:

trust: 1. To have or place confidence in; depend on. 2. To expect with assurance; assume

riches: wealth; an abundance of money, valuable possessions, or property

fall: 1. A reduction in value, amount, or degree. 2. A marked, often sudden, decline in status, rank, or importance:

flourish: 1. To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive: 2. To do or fare well; prosper: 3. To be in a period of highest productivity, excellence, or influence

foliage: 1. Plant leaves, especially tree leaves, considered as a group.

Using these definitions we see that a person who places their confidence in, or depends upon, his wealth, money, or material possessions will end up with a reduction in the value of his worth, and be marked with a decline in status, rank, or importance…

In contrast, those that follow God and His Messiah will grow well. They will thrive because of His blessings. In 1 Kings 2:3 it says: “And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn…” This verse compares these blessings as flourishing the way a vine does when it is getting plenty of sun, rain and nutrients and grows luxuriant leaves.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Proverbs 11: 27 Favor or Trouble...

What you seek determines what you will find…

Proverbs 11: 27 (NKJV)

27 He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.

All definitions are found on

earnestly: 1. With a purposefully or sincere intent 2. Seriously; determined

seek: 1. To try to locate or discover; search for. 2. To endeavor to obtain or reach

favor: 1. To perform a kindness or service for 2. To treat or regard with friendship, approval, or support 3. To be or tend to be in support of 4. To make easier or more possible; facilitate 5. To treat with care; be gentle with:

trouble: 1. A state of distress, affliction, difficulty, or need 2. A distressing or difficult circumstance or situation 3. A condition of pain, disease, or malfunction:

evil: 1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked 2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful 3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous 4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous 5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious

Using these definitions, we can see that the first part of verse 27 tells us that a person who is seriously determined or has the sincere intent to locate and obtain the virtue of “goodness,” will find the friendship, approval, and/or support of God and/or those men that work or live around them.

The second part of this verse goes on to contrast what the person that is determined to be wicked, harmful, spiteful, or malicious will find. They will find distress, affliction, difficulty, need, pain, disease and/or other malfunctions in their lives.

Many of these things come to those that ignore God and His ways, as we have seen before, but they also come to those that DO follow His ways, at times, through the problems that sin in this world has caused. The difference is that God will take you around or through the problems that arise if you are truly seeking “good” or His ways.

This was the whole point of the book of Job. That book shows us things about problems from a heavenly point of view. Horrible things come to wonderfully good people for reasons that we don’t understand and that others might believe are some kind of “judgment” on us, but God has His own reasons for the things that He allows: Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV) “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

Job also tells us that after God’s point was proven to Satan, then He “restored” him:

Job 42:10-17 (NKJV)
10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. … 12 Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13 He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first Jemimah, the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-Happuch. 15 In all the land were found no women so beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. 17 So Job died, old and full of days.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Proverbs 11: 26 Blessings or Curses

Today’s verse speaks, again, to the differences between those that are stingy and those who are generous, and the way these types of attitudes work on a person’s life.

Proverbs 11: 26 (NKJV)

26 The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.

Today’s key words are defined as follows:

curse: 1. a. An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something. b. The evil or misfortune that comes in or as if in response to such an appeal

withhold: 1. To keep in check; restrain. 2. To refrain from giving, granting, or permitting

blessing: 1. the act of invoking divine protection or aid 2. the words or ceremony used for this 3. the bestowal of a divine gift or favour

This verse speaks of people who have control something of importance to others. Something that is important to the very “lives” of the people around them. The first part talks about the way people feel toward those that “horde” this important commodity, in this case, the grain. Grain, being a staple food in the culture of the times, stood for either being physically well fed, or being weakened from not having enough for self or family. A person that had this important commodity and refrained from giving it or permitting it to be sold, would anger those around him, and bring on their disgust and even hatred.

The second part of today’s verse tells how people, and, God, will provide protection and aid to those who provide for a way for people to acquire the much needed commodity. As we see, throughout the Bible, GOD is our provider and the one who bestows true “blessings” to those who are generous in their hearts.

The story of the woman that had only enough for one more meal for her son and herself when the prophet Elijah came to ask her for food, gives us an example of what can happen when we are willing to part with something that is very important to us, even if it is the last of that “thing.” She was willing to share, and because of her generosity, even in her desperate situation, God blessed her with plenty to get by until the famine was over. He took her THROUGH this storm in her life, BECAUSE of her generosity, and shortly after that, the Lord used him to bring her son back to life! You can read the first part of this story in I Kings 17: 8-16.

Elijah and the Widow

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’” 15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Proverbs 11: 25 Generosity

Today’s verse continues with the theme of our last verse. It speaks of the blessings that come to those who are generous toward others.

Proverbs 11: 25 (NKJV)
25 The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.

First, let’s look at the definitions of the main words in this verse:

generous: 1. willing and liberal in giving away one's money, time, etc.; munificent 2. free from pettiness in character and mind 3. full or plentiful

rich: 1. Possessing great material wealth: 2. Having great worth or value 3. Magnificent; sumptuous 4. a. Having an abundant supply b. Abounding, especially in natural resources 5. Meaningful and significant 6. Very productive and therefore financially profitable

water: Basic life giving fluid

We can see that those that are willing and liberal in giving of their time, money, etc. and are free from pettiness in their inner beings will be blessed, or “made” to be rich. This could be in worth or value in God’s, and other men’s sight, as well as, in material wealth. HE will bless with abundant supplies and help them to be productive (maybe with an idea or creative thought), which can also lead to financial abundance.

This verse goes on to say that those that those that gives of the basic fluid of life, will receive back the same life from God. Jesus is called “the living water” or the “water of life,” and this is shown in the story of the “Woman at the Well” found in
John 4: 7 – 14:

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Proverbs 11: 24 Poverty or Abundance

NOTE: I have been sick and had a family crisis, so haven’t been able to write recently, but will continue with this study as often as I am able to. I am sorry for the delay…

Proverbs 11: 24 (NKJV)

24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.

scatter: sow by scattering;

increase 1. To become greater or larger. 2. To multiply; reproduce.

withholds: 1. To keep in check; restrain. 2. To refrain from giving, granting, or permitting

poverty: 1. the condition of being without adequate food, money, etc. 2. scarcity or dearth

One of the definitions of “scatter” speaks of “sowing” by scattering, and in the Bible, “sowing” is often equated with planting things of God… giving to others, helping others, etc. The first part of this verse indicates that those who plant/sow things of God will be blessed and will become greater or reproduce those things as God uses the things they have given Him. See the following verses as examples of this principle:

1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NKJV)
6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

2 Corinthians 9: 9 &10 (NKJV)
9 As it is written: “ He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness…

The second part of today’s verse speaks of the person who doesn’t give freely, but “refrains” from giving and even keeps back the things that he KNOWS it would be right to give. Because of the hardness of this type of person’s heart, he will NOT be blessed and this type of “stinginess” tends to bring about poverty.