Posts tagged ‘Proverbs’

Proverbs 10 – Money as god

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
~Proverbs 10:2-5

This is a section of Proverbs meant to encourage a righteous work ethic.  It is important to remember that the Proverbs are not promises, but are everyday axioms, general truths to live by.  For the most part if you follow Proverbs you’ll live a long happy prosperous life, and if you don’t then you’ll have strife and poverty.

Of course we all know people, and see people on tv or read about them, that are crooked or immoral and seem to be prospering.  And the Bible answers this elsewhere, which I don’t feel inclined to get into here now, but suffice to say that prosperity and peace are not their final end

Although Proverbs are true for all people, regardless of their faith or non-faith, they are especially true for believers in the God of the Bible, and as believers we are called to do business in a way that reflects our faith in God.

What I mean is that once we realize that everything we have ultimately comes from God then we are free to make decisions more on a moral level, and not so much on a financial level.

When you sacrifice your beliefs for money, you are serving money as god of your life, and you are laying down your good deeds at its altar.  How can you serve two gods?  You can’t.

Make the right decision and trust in God that everything will still work out ok, even if things don’t work out the way you want or financially in your favor, you will still be blessed

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Proverbs 7 – the one

For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.
~Proverbs 7:6-9

A Christian and a non-Christian in a relationship that’s never a good idea.

Every relationship I know of that started like that went through hell.  And only 1 of the 10 or so that I know of actually worked and it’s been extremely hard on them and their family.

I think that’s why it’s always good to involve good godly counselors that you know and trust in helping to choose a wife or a husband.  Other people can see things a lot more objectively that you.   And there are many things to consider… chemistry is only one.

True when “love” strikes your brain it makes you feel high, and it is intoxicating, and you do stupid things that make no sense.  That’s why it’s wise to talk to other people before you get that involved.

Proverbs 4 – cheat codes for wisdom

Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
~Proverbs 4:5-6 

One of the saddest things about reading Proverbs is considering that Solomon, known as the wisest man to have ever lived, and perhaps the richest, forsook his wisdom toward the end of his life and forsook the God who so blessed him with that wisdom. (see 1 Kings 11)

When does a person have enough wisdom that they can rest on what they’ve done and achieved in the past?

My tendency is to be lazy and lax, both spiritually and otherwise, so the continual action of going after wisdom is probably the biggest part of being wise.

Getting started is the hardest part f most activities.  Once I start doing it I dont want to stop. If I clean and organize my closet I want to do all the closets.  When I go out and weed the flowerbed I feel good and I want to do it everyday.

But when I go a long time without doing something I dread doing it.  I havent played guitar since the end of November and I know I’m probably going to lead worship next month and I’m dreading getting my stuff out and working on it.  I just dont feel like it.

And so it is with desiring and finding wisdom.  And ultimately it is a gift from God to even realize that you even need wisdom.

Proverbs 2 – A kick is just a kick, and a punch is just a punch

The logo of Shotokan Karate

Image via Wikipedia

So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Proverbs 2:20-22

It seems that I’ve come full circle with Proverbs.  I remember when I was a new Christian I spent a whole year in Proverbs.  Whatever day of the month it was I would read that chapter.  If it was January 2nd, I would read Proverbs 2, if it was Feb 20th then chapter 20.  This way I would cover all the chapters several times in a years time.  And since there are 30 chapters in Proverbs it works fine.  Additionally since for the most part you dont have to read it in any certain order so if I skipped a day it wasnt like I was lost.

What I’ve come full circle in is the basic understanding of the value such a book.  Proverbs is classified as Lower Wisdom in the Biblical literature chart.  “Lower” in this case doesn’t mean of less value, but more in the sense of a base level, or a foundational level of understanding since it is mostly composed of axioms, general truths that apply to many but not every situation, and deals basically with practical every-day living.

Other books, such as Job, are considered Higher Wisdom, since it is more etherial and philosophical in nature, mostly dealing with the intangible; such as our attitude towards God.

Proverbs reminds me of Shotokan Karate.  The Shotokan style is very straight forward, a no frills method of martial arts.  For the most part it’s just basic punches, kicks, and blocks.  The students are greatly encouraged to stay away from spinning and jumping kicks, or anything fancy that is mostly just showy in nature.  And with sticking to the basics most of the time they would win sparring competitions easily since other forms concentrated on looking cool or beautiful.

Similarly by living a basic moral lifestyle you avoid many pitfalls that many fall into causing a wide range of things from poverty to sickness, thus it is a shield from evil to those who live rightly.

Living a moral lifestyle with the intent of trying to earn Gods favor is clearly against the total thrust of scripture.  But when you live right; when you live generously, giving and helping; when you resist lust and greed; then you avoid a world of trouble.

It seems very basic and not very advanced, but what could be more advanced than living a productive and fruitful life?  And if you don’t learn these foundational truths it makes it harder to improvise later when you want to dig deeper into other areas of faith.  What could be higher than learning self-control enough so that you can help other people with their lives?

If your own life is not in order it will be very difficult to help others.

Proverbs 1 – Am I an idiot?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

– Proverbs 1:7

It seems that mankind’s’ knowledge is increasing at a much more rapid rate than our wisdom.  Knowledge being our understanding of world and ourselves, and wisdom being the correct application of that knowledge.

Reflection and meditation upon the character and nature of God should bring a person to greater reverence and humility.  More specifically, considering Jesus; his life, and death, and resurrection, and his coming back to right all wrongs, should bring a deeper sense of awe and wonder.

If a person would meditate on Jesus sacrifice, naturally they should not want to take part in anything that caused his crucifixion, or to bring harm to humanity and creation.  If a person can do such things without remorse or regret then perhaps they havent seriously considered Jesus, and they might want to re-evaluate whether they are a Christian or just a one in name only.

I wonder if I’ve shied away from this phrase, “The fear of the Lord”, out of fear of what people will think of me?  Have I more regard for what people think about me, most of whom I dont know, than for holding true to scripture and letting it’s insight bring me closer to Jesus?

Do I think I’m more knowledgeable than the generations before me who embraced the idea that a Christian can either live a life pleasing to God, or one that brings both him and the Church, and all of humanity dishonor?