Friday, August 28, 2009

Proverbs 11: 5 & 6 Righteousness vs Wickedness/Lust

Both of our verses today, speak to us of those that are righteous as opposed to those that are wicked or lustful. As we have seen throughout our study of this book, this is the main theme of Proverbs, and is repeated in many different ways to emphasize it’s importance.

Proverbs 11: 5 & 6 (NKJV)
5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct
(Or make smooth or straight) his way aright,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust (or their own desires).

As we have seen before, those that follow Godly paths in their lives are blessed by God. They are given wisdom and guidance from God which directs them in the ways they should go, and delivers them from problems that come up in their lives.

We have also seen that those who choose NOT to follow God, but their own lusts of the flesh, become more and more wicked. God has two definitions for the word, “unfaithfulness.” The one, most everyone is familiar with, speaks of one spouse betraying the other by having a lustful relationship with someone else.

The other definition has to do with not being faithful to God and His ways of love. We see this clearly in the following verses:

Leviticus 6:2-5 (NIV)

2 "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, 3 or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do- 4 when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, 5 or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering.

In verse 6 of our verses today, we are told that the “unfaithful” WILL be caught, because their lust will lead them on, deeper and deeper into their sinful ways. The verse in Leviticus tells us what types of sin God considers “unfaithfulness” to Him, but it also speaks of being able to make restitution. The verses after this section speak of the blood sacrifices required to pay for these sins, and those of us that have accepted Christ as our Savior, know that He paid that price for our sins.

ALL of us have sinned, and God knows about it, so we have been caught. If we continue to go down the sinful paths, we will fall, but if we turn from them, accept what Christ did for us and choose to be righteous through Him, then we will be blessed and “delivered.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Proverbs 11: 4 Riches vs Righteousness

The verse we are studying today, warns us not to put our trust in riches, but in being right with God. We will use verses from the Bible with God’s definitions of the major ideas from today’s verse.

Proverbs 11: 4 (NKJV)

4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.

God is a God of Love, and as such, He must judge evil. There is coming, a “Day of Wrath,” when God WILL pour out His judgment on those that refuse to accept Him as their Lord and Jesus as their savior! He gave up His son to save us and there is nothing further He can do. We don’t have to face this… It is our choice. Here is what God has to say about the “Day of Wrath” in Isaiah 13:9-13 (NKJV)

9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.

10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.

11 “ I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,
A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,
In the wrath of the LORD of hosts
And in the day of His fierce anger.

Psalms 49: 16-20 (NIV) warns us not to be overawed with “riches,” because riches, in themselves, will not bring life.

16 Do not be overawed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases;
17 for he will take nothing with him when he dies,
his splendor will not descend with him.
18 Though while he lived he counted himself blessed—
and men praise you when you prosper-
19 he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of life .
20 A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.
NOTE: It is the man that has "riches WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING" that will perish. It isn't the riches that bring about condemnation, it is putting them before God that does.

Psalms 15: 1 – 5 gives us a definition from the Bible, of the person that God feels is “righteous,” and who will end up in Heaven…

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

Now, let's read, again our verse from today: Proverbs 11: 4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death. After reading God’s definitions, I found this verse to be much more meaningful and significant in it’s meaning for me… I hope that you did too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Proverbs 11: 3 Integrity vs Perversity

Today’s verse contrasts the differences between the life of those that are people of integrity and those that distort or “pervert” God’s truth.
Proverbs 11: 3 (NKJV)

3 The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

To refresh us on the meaning of “integrity” and of “perversity,” lets re-read the definitions of these two words.

Integrity: .1. honesty; steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. 2. the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness. 3. the state of being unimpaired; soundness.

Perversity: 1. deliberate and stubborn unruliness and resistance to guidance or discipline 2. deliberately deviating from what is good;

“The integrity of the upright” speaks of people who HAVE a strict moral or ethical code. Because they are followers of God (which is what the Bible means when it speaks of the “upright”) they have decided to follow His teachings and ways. This brings about ‘soundness” and “completeness” in every part of their lives and in their spirits. This “code” will guide them in paths that are blessed by God.

“The perversity of the unfaithful” tells us of people who choose “deliberately and stubbornly” to do things that are against God and His rules and ways. They resist proper guidance from Him and His discipline as well. As we have seen from past studies, God disciplines those that He calls his children, but those that refuse to submit to His discipline, and deliberately deviate from them (what is good), will end up following paths that lead to the slippery slope of destruction.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Proverbs 11:2 Pride vs Humility

Today’s verse is about being prideful and, in contrast, about being humble.

Proverbs 11:2 (NKJV)

2 When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about “pride,” or a “haughty spirit.” Proverbs 6:17 lists this as another of the Seven Deadly Sins. Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV) states: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 13:10a says, “By pride comes nothing but strife...”

The Online Dictionary defines the type of “pride” spoken of here as: 1. Arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment; haughtiness 2. An excessively high opinion of oneself; conceited.

Proverbs 16:18, a VERY well known verse, warns us that, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Today’s verse tells us tells us approximately the same thing! “When pride comes, then comes shame…” If we put ourselves up on a pedestal, sooner or later, God will have to knock us off, for He is to be our God and we are to have NO OTHER god’s above HIM!
Pride was Satan's sin. Isaiah 14:12-14 (NKJV) tells us about this:

The Fall of Lucifer
12 “ How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,[literally, Day Star] son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’

This certainly makes it clear that it is best to not allow this type of “pride” into our lives, but to recognize that our God is sovereign and HE is the one that has brought us everything that we might allow ourselves to be prideful over!

The word “humble” is defined as: 1. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful. 2. Showing deferential or submissive respect. When we KNOW and acknowledge, that everything good that we have has come from God and His work in our lives, then we are wise, and can easily be humble, showing “deferential or submissive respect” toward God and others.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Proverbs 11:1 Don’t Cheat Others!

Hi, fellow Wisdom Seekers! Today we will be starting a new chapter. Let’s see what the Lord has to teach us for today!

Proverbs 11:1 (NKJV)
1 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD,
But a just weight is His delight.

The note in my NIV Bible says that, “In a culture with no bureau of weights and measures, cheating in business by falsification of standards was common…” God calls those that follow HIM to be very careful NOT to cheat others in any way! He says that cheating is an “abomination” to Him. The word, “abomination,” as defined in the Online Dictionary, means, 1. Abhorrence; disgust. 2. A cause of abhorrence or disgust. 3. an action that is vicious or vile; an action that arouses disgust or abhorrence.

This would be another form of lying, and John 8:44 (NKJV) says, that if you lie, 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. Proverbs 6: 17 lists lying as one of the “Seven Deadly Sins” that God hates!

As we can see, God feels quite STRONGLY about cheating and lying, which go hand in hand. Revelation 22:14-15 (NKJV) makes this VERY clear! It says, 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city [speaking of heaven]. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Lying and cheating are the exact opposites of everything the Lord wants of His people. This verse concludes with “a just weight is His delight” because God’s ways are ways of love, caring, help, and truth toward our “neighbors.” These things build up trust and confidence between His children (those that choose to follow Him), and eventually, we will all be living together in His kingdom, so we need to start building the type of relationships here that we will live with, forever, there!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Proverbs 10:30 - 32 More Righteous vs Wicked

Today we will look at the last three verses of chapter 10. These verses, as so many others in this chapter, are contrasts between those that are righteous and those that are wicked (or perverse.) Here are today's verses:

Proverbs 10:30 - 32 (NKJV)

30 The righteous will never be removed,
But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

The first part of each of these three verses speaks of those that God calls “righteous.” These are people who, as we have seen before, are “morally upright and without guilt or sin.” They have decided to follow God and His ways with their whole hearts, souls, and minds. They have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice that paid for their sins and have been “made righteous in God’s eyes.”

Verse 30 tells us that the righteous “will never be removed,” and, since it is contrasted by the words, “the wicked will not inhabit the earth,” it sounds like this is another way of saying what it says in Psalm 37:29 (NKJV), “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.” Isaiah 60:21 (NKJV) also says something about this when talking about the end times: “Also your people shall all be righteous; They shall inherit the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.”

The first parts of verses 31 & 32 also talks about those that are righteous, but concentrate on the way these people speak and what they say. Verse 31 says that people that have lived a life of following God will have gained wisdom as they have walked this path, and when they speak to others, that wisdom will show in what they have to say. Verse 32 says that these people will “KNOW” what is acceptable to speak, probably because of that wisdom they have gained.

Conversely, the second parts of these verses speak of wicked or perverse people. These types of people will not “inhabit the earth.” This means that they, and their type, will die off sooner or later. Not only will they be cut off from the earth in the future, but they, eventually, will not be allowed to speak at all. Verse 32 tells us that the “wicked” speak perverse things, and verse 31 even says that “the perverse tongue will be cut out.”

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Proverbs 10:28 & 29 Blessings follow the Righteous

Today’s verses bring us more contrasts between the blessings of those that follow God’s ways and the problems for those that don’t.

Proverbs 10:28 & 29 (NKJV)
28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness,
But the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29 The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

The first part of both our verses speaks of the blessings of those that are made righteous by following the “way of the Lord.” These people have “the hope of gladness,” and they are also given strength. “Hope” is basically defined as: A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.

Life in this world is often hard, but when we know the Lord, and
the love of our God for us, then we have a deep down hope in our heart that everything will turn out fine. This “hope” brings gladness into our lives and helps us to continue onward to the “prize” that God has for us. Those of us with loved ones that have gone on ahead, have gladness in our hearts for we have the “hope” of seeing them again, whereas others that don’t follow God, have lost all hope of ever seeing their loved ones again.

God promises to give us strength to continue our journey through this world when we are righteous from following His ways. That “hope” that brings gladness, often is exactly what gives us the strength to keep on going in the times of trials and tribulations that everyone goes through while living in this world.

By contrast, those that are wicked and are workers of iniquity, have no hope or “expectations” of good things to bring gladness into their hearts. Instead, their ultimate end is destruction.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Proverbs 10:27 Choose the Length of Your Life

Today’s verse is about the length of your life. You can choose to prolong or shorten it.

Proverbs 10:27 (NKJV)

27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.

As we have seen, “the fear of the Lord…” doesn’t mean terror of what He will do to us. It means to have awe and reverence or respect for His authority in our lives. When we look at God… the one that created everything, including us, we should be in awe of the fact that He has CHOSEN to love us though He knows EVERYTHING about us… every evil thought, or word, or action in our hearts and minds. He loved us so much that He didn’t want to lose us to the evil one and everlasting death.

If you have someone or something that is the most beloved thing in your life, would you be able to give that beloved one to others to torture and kill so that someone who hates, despises or simply doesn’t care about you could be saved? THIS is what God did for us because He loves us. We had sinned and separated ourselves from Him and He wanted us back, so He gave His precious Son to pay for our sins. THIS deserves our awe and respect. There is nothing that He can do that shows His love for us more than this.

When we have this kind of “fear/awe/reverence” and choose to learn of His ways, and follow them, then He will prolong the days that He has given us. We’ve seen how He has done this in the past for Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:1-11) when he prolonged his life 15 years.

Those that refuse to acknowledge that He is GOD, our creator, and choose to reject the way that HE, AS GOD, chose to be the only pathway to Heaven, are sinners (not doing as God wants them to do) and are “wicked.” These people don’t choose wise pathways, and end up having their “years shortened.”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Proverbs 10:26 Lazy Employees

Today, we are going to look at what God says about lazy employees, and how their employers feel about them.

Proverbs 10:26 (NKJV)

26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him.

According to my research, acids, such as vinegar, eat away at the enamel of teeth. This erodes the enamel and can cause sensitivity in teeth as well as cavities. Both of these situations can be very painful as most everyone knows. This pain can be either a nagging, throbbing type of pain, or it can be a sharp, stabbing type of pain.

Wood smoke has been proven to depress the immune system and can also damage the cells that protect the linings of the lungs. It can cause coughs, headaches, eye irritation, and irritate the throat. It is especially dangerous for children and anyone with asthma. Anyone that has been around a campfire knows that you want to stay upwind, and away from the smoke.

This verse says that these are the ways that an employer… “those who send him,” feels about an employee that is lazy. They are irritants of the first magnitude!