Proverbs

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“A quick-tempered man acts foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17 NKJV).

May 2, 2017

The man who is easily offended and quick to lose his temper will do and say things that make him look foolish. Afterwards, he is often sorry and ashamed, so he repents of his behavior. Yet, his short fuse remains, so that he returns to his folly again and again. The foolish behavior will not stop until his angry temperament is properly dealt with.

Anger itself isn’t sin, but uncontrolled anger can lead to sin. So, we must ask the Holy Spirit to give us a long-fuse and self-control, so that Christ rules us, rather than our anger. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph. 4:26-27).

“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1 NKJV).

April 24, 2017

This parable is as true of the man as of the woman, yet the woman is here emphasized. Wisdom is characterized by a willingness to be faithful to the calling and gifting of the Lord. The wise woman fears the Lord and so she is fruitful in all things, loving her husband and raising her children in the admonitions of the Lord (Titus 2:4-5). She “watches over her household and does not eat the bread of idleness,” and her children and husband “rise up and call her blessed” (Prov. 31:27-28).

Foolishness wants its own way, rather than God’s way. It bucks against God’s blueprint for the home and chooses the way of ease. She blames the decline of her house on others, yet her own behavior is at the root of its demise.

Wisdom builds up, but foolishness tears down. What is the secret to receiving this wisdom for our home? Jesus Christ is the answer! As the apostle Paul wrote, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24). Build your house on Christ the Solid Rock!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV).

April 19, 2017

Having to wait for any expected good certainly affects our attitude. In this sense, the writer of this proverb accurately observed the growing despondency of the heart that waits unfulfilled. Yet, it is even more intense in the spiritual longing that we have for God. It was in this spiritual sense that many see this proverb pointing to Israel’s longing for the coming of the Desired One, the Messiah. As the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai, “I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7).

Today, we experience a kind of “heart sickness” as we await the return of Christ. But we have the Holy Spirit which fills us with a confident hope that assures us of the certainty of our desire. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).

“A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, And the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him” (Proverbs 12:14 NKJV).

April 3, 2017

The one whose word and deed is marked by wisdom and diligence will be “satisfied with good” and receive appropriate “recompense.” Yet, when has the world seen such a one who has both? In truth, the Lord Jesus is the only One who has demonstrated both word and deed in perfect balance and beauty.

As regards word, even the temple guards sent to arrest Jesus reported, “Never has anyone spoken like this man!” (John 7:46).

And as regards deed, the multitude who witnessed Jesus causing the deaf to hear and the mute to speak, were astonished and said, “He has done all things well!” (Mark 7:37).

Those who would be truly “satisfied,” and receive a desirable “recompense,” will trust in Christ’s word and work, rather than their own. As the apostle Paul wrote, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).

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

March 25, 2017

American coinage was first inscribed with the motto, “In God We Trust,” in 1865, after a feeling of thanksgiving swept the nation that had survived the Civil War. In 1957, American currency was inscribed with the same motto. Yet, putting the motto on our money isn’t the same as writing it on our hearts.
Where we put our trust matters. Those who put their faith in money will eventually experience disappointment. As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:9-10). Instead, put your love and trust in the Lord.

“Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, But righteousness delivers from death” (Proverbs 11:4 NKJV).

March 10, 2017

Wealth is useful when facing human justice. It pays for attorneys and even judges of a certain type. Yet, “riches do not profit” when we face the judgment seat of God. All the treasure in the world is useless on that day. As one has said, “You never see a hearse towing a UHaul.” However, this is not a diatribe against affluence, but a warning against short term thinking. Worldly wealth only gives the illusion of security, the instant we breath our last, that fantasy evaporates. Worldly currency has no value in heaven.

But righteousness, or godliness as the apostle Paul calls it, “is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). Therefore, pursue righteousness, which is only found in Christ Jesus. For God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). How do we exchange our sin for this heavenly currency of righteousness? Believe. Believe in what God has done for you in Christ. As as it was said of Abraham, “He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness,” so shall it be for you. Only righteousness delivers from the final death sentence.

“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.