Monday, June 21, 2010

Proverbs 12: 13 Be Ensnared or Make it Through…

Today’s verse is about the trouble we can get into through the things that we say…

Proverbs 12: 13 (NKJV)
13 The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
But the righteous will come through trouble. 

First, let's check our definitions...

wicked: 1. Evil by nature and in practice 2. Highly offensive; obnoxious
ensnared: to trap or gain power over someone by dishonest or underhand means
transgression: 1. A violation of a law, command, or duty 2. The exceeding of due bounds or limits.
lips: Insolent talk; To utter
righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin
through: 1. In one side and out the opposite or another side of 2. At or to the end of; done or finished with, especially successfully
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

As we can see, evil, obnoxious people can become trapped by speaking about violating the laws or duties that have been given to them. Morally upright men, on the other hand will make it out of their problems because they will be guided and blessed by God.

Job 15:5 (NKJV) says: Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty, and Jesus said, in Mark 7: 18 (NKJV) “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…”

The book of James also teaches about our speech…
James 3: 5 – 10 (NKJV)
5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

And finally, the Amplified Bible brings us a clear picture of what God would have our speech be: 

Ephesians 4:29-32 (Amplified Bible)
29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by Whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin).

31 Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

32 And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Proverbs 12: 12 Wanting and Getting

Proverbs 12: 12 (NKJV)
12 The wicked covet the catch of evil men,
But the root of the righteous yields fruit.

Here are today’s Definitions of the main words:

wicked: 1. Evil by nature and in practice 2. Highly offensive; obnoxious
covet: long for, desire, fancy, envy, crave, aspire to, yearn for, thirst for, begrudge, hanker after, lust after, set your heart on, have your eye on, would give your eyeteeth for
catch: 1. To capture or seize, especially after a chase. 2. To take by or as if by trapping or snaring. 3. To take hold of, especially forcibly or suddenly 4. To hold, as by snagging or entangling 5. To deceive
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
root: An essential part or element; the basic core
righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin
yields: 1. a. To give forth by or as if by a natural process, especially by cultivation b. To furnish as return for effort or investment; be productive
fruit: Result; outcome (in this usage of the word)

Using these definitions, we see that those that are evil by nature, and in practice, lust after or crave, the things that other morally bad and evil, malicious men have captured, often through trapping or deceiving others. God says, though, that the basic core or spirit of those that are morally upright, will produce or cultivate good results and outcomes. This would come through the natural process of having God furnish the return on the investment put in through living in Godly ways and with God given wisdom.

This is the basic reason that God put in the Ten Commandments, that we shouldn’t covet, for it breeds evil.  If we follow God and HIS ways, we will be blessed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Proverbs 12: 11 Work and Eat…

This verse is the essence of the story of the grasshopper and the ant. The ant worked HARD all summer while the grasshopper wiled away the hours, playing and having fun, but when the winter came, the ant had plenty of provisions laid up for his family, while the grasshopper died out in the cold.

Proverbs 12: 11 (NKJV)

11 He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread,
But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

tills: To prepare (land) for the raising of crops, as by plowing and harrowing; cultivate

satisfied: Filled with satisfaction; content

bread: 1. a. Food in general, regarded as necessary for sustaining life b. Something that nourishes; sustenance 3. Means of support; livelihood

frivolous: 1. Unworthy of serious attention; trivial 2. Inappropriately silly
frivolity: 1. The quality or condition of being frivolous. 2. A frivolous act or thing.

devoid: Completely lacking; destitute or empty

understanding: 1. Characterized by or having comprehension, good sense, intelligence or discernment. 2. Compassionate; sympathetic

Using the definitions of the main words from today’s verse, we see that the person who works by doing the job that God has given him to bring him his “Daily Bread,” will be sustained and content, while the person who doesn’t pay attention and just goes around being silly instead of working, doesn’t show ANY intelligence or good sense.

I found some of the other translations of this verse to be helpful in understanding it as well:

The New American Standard Bible puts it this way:
11. He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.

The New International Version says: 11. He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

And last, but not least, “The Message” version says: 11. The one who stays on the job has food on the table; the witless chase whims and fancies.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Proverbs 12: 10 (NKJV) The Treatment of Your Animals Shows What’s Inside…

Today’s verse talks about the way people treat their animals as being a way to judge their character. I find this interesting because we see more and more animal abuse and neglect as the incidence of other forms of crime, abuse and neglect rise.

Proverbs 12: 10

10 A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

righteous: Morally upright; without guilt or sin Upright: Adhering strictly to moral principles

regards: 1. To give heed; pay attention 2. To take into account; consider. 3. Obsolete: To take care of.
       Synonyms: regard, esteem, admiration, respect
These nouns refer to a feeling based on perception of and approval for the worth of a person or thing

mercies: 1. Compassionate treatment 2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving  3. Alleviation of distress; relief 4. humane and kind, sympathetic, or forgiving treatment of or disposition toward others

wicked: 1. Evil by nature and in practice 2. Highly offensive; obnoxious

cruel: predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others

By using the definitions of the main words of the Bible Text, we see that people that are morally upright, or adhere strictly to moral principles, will pay attention to the care of their animals. They feel that there is worth in living things, and that they have feelings and need love.

By contrast, those people that are evil by nature and in practice, and that are predisposed to inflict violence, pain, or hardship, or to find satisfaction in the suffering of others, just don’t seem to have the capacity within themselves to give humane and kind, sympathetic or compassionate treatment even to their animals.  Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruits..."

This is SO SAD! I feel that one of the main ways to change people is to change their hearts, and only love, and in particular, the Love of God and His forgiveness in lives, will do that. When we ask Jesus into our lives to wash us from the sins we’ve repented of, and to become the LORD and Savior in our lives, then HE will change us from within, and when He comes again, Romans 8:21-23 tells us:

Romans 8: 21 – 23 (NKJV)

21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.