Proverbs

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“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV).

January 30, 2017

Solomon gives an example from nature to teach the discipline of living beneath your means and managing God-given resources according to the seasons of life. Stop being lazy with the time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted to you. Even the ant knows to save a surplus to get through the dry season and to gather during the harvest. Live on less than you make. Work with wisdom and diligence. Remember God’s ownership and your stewardship.

“His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin” (Proverbs 5:22 NKJV).

January 28, 2017

Why is there suffering in God’s creation? Humanity has rebelled and chosen its own way. And the whole world has fallen under sin’s sway. Sin begins as an attitude of self-will that wants its own way, rather than God’s way. So, sin is an offense against God, but it is also harmful to the one sinning. A father may tell his toddler not to touch the hot stove, but when the toddler touches it anyway, the father need not punish. The blistered hand is punishment enough. Yet, the day of judgment is coming when all sinners will be judged. Until then, sin itself is already at work in the sinner. For it entraps and entangles, enslaving and deluding, slowly squeezing the life out of the sinner hypnotized by its stare and strangled by its coils. Thank God there is a Savior, One who came to break the bonds of sin and set us free! Thank God for Jesus who not only releases us from sin’s snare, but also adopts us into the Father’s family. Those who have received Christ as Savior and Lord are no longer entrapped and caught in the cords of sin.

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases” (Proverbs 26:20 ESV)

October 29, 2016

The fiery strife of gossip and intrigue quickly goes out when the wicked “whisperer” is removed. Contentious talebearers must be treated as incendiaries. We must refuse to listen to their gossip, correcting them for such talk. And if they refuse to stop such inflammatory backbiting, we must break fellowship with them. Strife soon ceases and peace follows when those who fuel quarreling with their words are silent.

‘Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.’ (Proverbs 25:6-7 ESV)

October 11, 2016

Self-promotion often leads to being humbled, while humility leaves room for another to praise you. The world urges us to climb the ladder of success, but the Lord Jesus descended to greatness. He climbed down the ladder of love, leaving behind his robes of majesty and taking on the form of man and humbled himself to death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-8). Therefore, God exalted Jesus to the highest place (Phil 2:9-11). Follow Jesus. Stop edifying yourself and edify others instead. Humble yourself and let God lift you up.

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler” (Proverbs 20:19 ESV)

August 3, 2016

Do you know someone who is constantly telling you secrets about someone else? Or someone who slanders another? Do not associate with such people. For if they talk badly about others to you, they will talk badly about you to others. And if they share the secrets of others with you, they will reveal your secrets to others. Telling such a person a secret is the same as broadcasting it to everyone. A gossip is to be warned, and if they persist, avoided.

“Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.” (Proverbs 20:18 ESV)

August 2, 2016

Do you seek wise counsel before making plans? No matter how wise you may be, there is always much to be learned from another’s perspective. We all have blind spots, so we need others to enlarge our vision. These counselors should not to be mere ‘yes’ men, agreeing with us. They are to be wise in the biblical sense and willing to disagree and confront. Having sought out wise advice, be sure to be humble enough to follow it.

‘Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?’ (Proverbs 20:9)

July 29, 2016

Solomon’s rhetorical question assumes a negative response. The sinfulness of humanity was an accepted reality in his day. Yet, even this basic wisdom has been thrown into question in our modern time by the tenets of humanism. The philosophy of humanism stresses the idea that humans are born basically good and that their potential for goodness is based on environmental factors. According to their thinking, with sufficient resources and education, all children should turn out well. A generation of this thinking has proven the theory untrue, yet the philosophy remains. However, God’s Word teaches us that our sin problem is more about the human heart than our behavior or the environment in which we live. This is a profound distinction. The real problem with humanity is the human heart. What is needed is heart change. Yet, who can make their “heart pure?” No one. What we need is a Savior. One who would give us new and holy hearts for God. But in order to know this, we must first admit that we are sinners. We must first accept this basic truth about ourselves, that we are sinful and powerless to do anything to change. We need help. We need Jesus. We need Christ to give us new hearts.