April 27 – Need More Than ‘Seems Right’

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:3; 16:24 (NASB)

Our verse today from is included twice in Proverbs. Both chapter 14 & 16 were compiled by Samson so this truth must have been important to him. It is also an important warning to us. It’s a promise that warns of death. In WW2 the crew of a B-24D plane ignored their instruments which didn’t seem right by their senses. The plane flew past their base until it ran out of fuel and crashed in the Sahara desert. All 9 crewmembers died trying to find their way out of the desert. In Matthew 7:13 Jesus also warns us to not trust what might only seem right. The wide gate may look appealing but many are led through it to destruction. It’s the narrow gate that Jesus directs us to. Both the narrow gate and the wide gate are assumed to provide the entrance to God’s kingdom. Two ways are offered to people. The narrow gate is by faith, only through Christ, constricted and precise. It represents true salvation in God’s way that leads to life eternal. The wide gate includes all religions of works and self-righteousness, with no single way, but it leads to hell, not heaven.

198

April 25 – Under His Watch

For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.” – Proverbs 5:21-23 (NASB)

A different kind of promise for us to consider today. We are in a time where there are many moaning and bemoaning about the changes to our society, our government, and even a good number of our churches. Family values are not so valuable for many in our world – just watch TV programs. Some are wondering how this can be happening and why is it happening? Will we ever see things turn around and be like they once were. Honestly, no they won’t without an intervention by God into people’s hearts and minds. The evil ones who do wicked things are under constant watch by God. He knows who is doing and what is being done. God watches the paths of every person. And this promise is to those who are acting out iniquities; the sins of the wicked will capture them and they will find their sin have them bound up and immovable. The Lord God sees all that man does and in mercy He withholds immediate judgment, allowing the sinner time to repent or to be caught in his own sin. The unrepentant will demonstrate their great folly believing the lies of the enemy.

196

April 24 – Proof Through Reproof

“My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord Or loathe His reproof, For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” – Proverbs 3:11-12 (NASB)

As children we certainly did not enjoy the reproof our parents gave to us when we misbehaved. As adults do we like it any better? Probably not but we can know from our verse today the reproof is a promise affirming that God loves us and He intends the very best for us. Since even the wisest of God’s children are subject to sin, there is necessity of God’s fatherly discipline. He disciplines us to increase wisdom and blessing in our lives. We should not resist such correction but instead receive it with thankfulness because it is for our benefit. Some think discipline is punishment but the two are not quite the same. Discipline, or reproof is not exactly a pay-back for wrong deeds but it is a consequence when we fail to observe the law of God and His commandments.. Hebrews 12:8 teaches us that if we are not being disciplined by God, then we are but illegitimate children and not adopted children of God. Like our verse says, God allows and does what is necessary to correct us because He delights in us and He wants us to know better what His will is for our lives.

197

April 22 – What’s Up Is Down

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.” – Proverbs 17:15 (NASB)

We might make the heading of today’s post to be “What’s Wrong is Right and What’s Right is Wrong.” This may seem to you and many others that our system of justice has turned upside down and is skidding along on its roof. Disaster seems immanent and when it comes we’ll wonder why we did not see that iceberg immediately in our way. God does not condone and God will judge this twist on what He has declared right and just. It really is a result of verse 13 previous. “He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.” The promise is not for a blessing but for embedded evil first we tolerate, second we excuse, and finally adopt as a belief. Nobody wants to be disapproved or called names but those who believe God and His Word and also stand against the wholesale embrace of social debauchery are being vilified and all who speak against this evil will also be scorned and subject to being cancelled, denied and detested. Calling evil good and giving it a pass while condemning the faith of those righteous to God – they are repugnant to the Lord.

197

April 21 – Heat That Purifies

“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” – Proverbs 17:3 (ESV)

A crucible is a very specialized container that is used to heat metal to the point of melting it. It is a necessary step in the refining process of changing what is unusable into something usable and more valuable. Our verse speaks of refining silver and gold so that it can be suitable for other purposes. This proverb of Solomon teaches us that God allows us to be in the crucible in order to test us. One of the purposes of melting and refining is to burn away the dross and other impurities. It also is to form, shape and strengthen the metal. God does test our hearts for it is our heart’s devotion and love that he wants from us. Another verse in the Old Testament and in the New Testament says that we are to love the Lord our God with our whole heart. In order for that to happen, we have to allow God to refine our hearts in the crucible of life. That is not something we really choose to go through but when we do, we come out knowing and loving God in a more perfect way. It’s a promise, let’s embrace it.

198

 February 5 – Diligent Heart Care

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

We have in this passage a warning, advice, and blessing all part of the promise that is in our selected verse. The author King Solomon is teaching his son the importance of heart care. These verses and promises are good for all and a father or mother would do well to teach them to their daughters as well. Many verses from the book of Proverbs stand alone. That is not the case with today’s verse. Verse 23 is best understood in the context of verses 20-27. The words of wisdom are important enough to not let them out of our sight. In fact they should be hidden in our heart. They bring us life and health. Our heart needs guarding for out of it’s a wellspring of how we live. The word “heart” means more than mental or emotional capacity; it also incorporates one’s values. The “heart” may commonly refer to our mind as the center of thinking and reason, but also includes our emotions, our will, and our whole inner being. The heart is the depository of all wisdom and the source of whatever affects speech (v. 24), sight (v. 25), and conduct (vv. 26, 27).

197

January 23 – Planning Through Commitment

“Commit your works to the Lord And your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 (NASB)

For the times in our lives when we are uncertain of our next step or the direction we need is not clear, we can find help and wisdom from God. This is a great and wonderful promise given to us in our verse today. As we face daily tasks and at times when we need careful planning for what our way should be, this practice will help. We learn from the wisdom that is freely given to us. First, we commit all details and plans to the Lord. He is the Master Planner who knows all outcomes and if we then trust Him to supply our needs, our plans will be established by Him. God will give us the wisdom we need to preform each step along our way and it will be the right way. We can also trust Him to bring us all the way through in a way that will bring praise and glory to Him. If our challenge is large or small, and if we commit our works to the Lord, He promises an eventual good result for us to follow.

185

 January 11 – Wisdom For Each Day

18“The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” – Proverbs 11:18-21 (ESV)

In the book of Proverbs are found many promises. Proverbs has a concentration of parallel lines, or antithetical parallelism.  These proverbs look at the same truth from opposite perspectives. One line promises results of blessings and the other line promises the converse results of loss and even death. All the verses in Chapter 11 are such proverbs. Each one promises results from righteous living compared to results from the ways of evil living. 

  • Verse 18 – The efforts of the wicked deceiver do not yield the riches his deception seeks, but the righteous receive a reward from God. 
  • Verse 19 – Righteous living is rewarded with life and the wages of sin is death.  
  • Verse 20 – The abominations defined throughout Scripture and especially in Proverbs, involve attitudes and behaviors which God hates*.
  • Verse 21 – Individually or in collaboration, the wicked cannot be freed from duly and just punishment, while the unassisted children of the righteous find deliverance because of their relationship with God. 

God gives us here and in other passages the clear promise that wicked living has a losing result. However, righteous living is what He wants and will help us have. The wisdom is easy to see.

*What are the abominations? Proverbs 11:20; perverse living, (means crooked or distorted);  Proverbs 12:22; lying;  Proverbs 15:8; hypocrisy; Proverbs 15:9; wicked conduct; Proverbs 15:26; wicked thoughts; Proverbs16:5; pride; Proverbs 17:15; injustice; Proverbs 20:10, 23; dishonesty in business; 

200

January 7 – Fully Trustworthy

“Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.” – 1 Samuel 3:1 (NASB)

“Where there is no vision (revelation), the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.” – Proverbs 29:18 (NASB)

In the time recorded in the Old Testament, the people did not yet have God’s complete revelation as we do in our Scriptures, the Bible. God would communicate and reveal himself through prophetic messages and through visions.  The visions were God’s revelations mediated through an auditory or visual encounter. The time of the judges was a period of extremely limited prophetic activity. The few visions that God did give were not widely shared or known and observance of the Law of God was a low priority. There are obvious and veiled dangers in the practice of disregarding the teachings we have in God’s Word. No longer delivered in visions or prophetic messages, our Bible provides for us the complete revelation that God intended us to have. Because it is “God breathed” through people who were given the inspired word by the Holy Spirit and wrote it down for us, we trust it fully to be without error in its original writings. From it we learn about God and His expectations, His commandments, and how God wants us to live trusting His Word. Our promise is happiness for those who abide by the revelation we have in our Holy Scripture. 

199

September 1 – He Stores Up For Us


“For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,” – Proverbs 2:6-7 (NASB)

True and Godly wisdom comes only by revelation. The words of the LORD’s mouth are contained in inspired Scripture. It is there that we can hear God speak. That is the promise we are given in the Bible, the Word of God. Through yielding to our awesome Lord God, we gain wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Wisdom promises us positive and moral benefits that become a shield for us. Wisdom keeps one from evil and contributes to holiness. Wisdom is a matter of our heart, and of our moral conduct, for it is not simply the acquisition of intelligence. Another promise beyond giving us wisdom, knowledge and understanding is that the LORD stores up sound wisdom for the upright. He has it in abundance and available for us when we need it and ask Him for it (James 1:5-8). The ‘upright’ identifies those who are true faith believers, who seek to know, love, and obey God. It identifies us as those who seek wisdom and instruction in order to live righteously. One verse more teaches that the only ones who can know this wisdom and experience God’s protection (Proverbs 2:8), are keepers of the covenant and promises of God.

198