..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Reagan And Blaire's Day At The Lake

Once the lakes were opened back up, our niece and her husband, Katie and Dustin, took their girls out on their boat for a boat ride. It was a beautiful day for it! I made this digital scrapbook page of their day at the lake.

Savannah Home School Time

Our grandniece, Savannah, is like all the other children... not in school and having to do her studies at home. Her grandmother took this photo of her doing her schoolwork and I had to do a digital scrapbook page of her doing her home schooling during the pandemic.

Dante's Inferno

Dante Alighieri's Inferno is the first of a 3 part 14th-century epic poem called the Divine Comedy. It was called a comedy but it wasn't funny. That was a term they used. It is followed by Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise). The Inferno tells the journey of of the Catholic Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth.

Virgil proceeds to guide Dante through the nine circles of Hell. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, and culminating at the centre of the earth, where Satan is held in bondage in Cocytus, a frozen lake. Inferno opens on the evening of Good Friday in the year 1300. Dante Alighieri has lost his path and now wanders. The ghost of Virgil, the great Roman poet, has come to guide Dante. Traveling down the circles of Hell, eventually, the poets reach the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness, and travel from there out of Hell and back onto Earth. They emerge from Hell on Easter morning, just before sunrise. An appropriate symbolism.

In January 1302 Dante was called to appear before the new Florentine government and, failing to do so, was condemned, along with three other former priors, for crimes he had not committed. Again failing to appear, Dante and 14 other Whites (a political party) were condemned to be burned to death. Dante suffered the most decisive crisis of his life. He was exiled as his country, Italy, was in chaos. He had to shift about, living with wealthy patrons, while he wrote until he died. In his comedy, he mentioned many names that would have been well known at the time in the political and religious world in Italy as well as famous mythological creatures which any educated person back then would have been familiar with.

The visit to Hell is, as Virgil explains, a painful, but necessary, act before real recovery can begin. The Holy Spirit proves to each individual the sin, righteousness, and judgement of the world.

John 16:7-8 “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment

In order for us to come to repentance, we must realize we are sinners ,and sin, when judged, leads to eternal damnation in Hell and the Lake of Fire. If we don't know we are sinners and judgment is coming, then we don't know to look for our Savior, Jesus Christ. So Virgil is showing Dante that sin brings righteous judgment. So he makes the punishments in the circles of hell, commensurate with the sin. The worse the sins, the farther from God and the closer to satan.

The condemnations chosen by Dante follow a very precise rule, which the poet draws from the Bible and from medieval jurisprudence: it is the so-called contrapasso law. Contrepasso means retaliation or suffer the opposite. In Dante's mind, God's justice requires the punishment be suited both to the type of sin and to the severity of the sin.

There are two types of contrapasso:
Contrapasso by analogy: penalty is similar to the sin

Contrapasso by contrast: the penalty consists of the inverse of the characteristics of sin

In Canto 5, the sinners punished here were the lustful who were swept along by their feelings and desires as though by strong winds. They lose their reason due to their lust so they are punished by literally being blown here and there by strong winds.

And now I can hear the notes of agony

In sad crescendo beginning to reach my ear;
Now I am where the noise of lamentation
Comes at me in blasts of sorrow. I am where

All light is mute, with a bellowing like the ocean
Turbulent in a storm of warring winds,
The hurricane of Hell in perpetual motion

Sweeping the ravaged spirits as it rends,
Twists, and torments them. Driven as if to land,
They reach the ruin: groaning, tears, laments,

And cursing of the power of Heaven. I learned
They suffer here who sinned in carnal things-
Their reason mastered by desire, suborned.

As winter starlings riding on their wings
Form crowded flocks, so spirits dip and veer
Foundering in the wind's rough buffetings,

Upward or downward, driven here and there
With never ease from pain nor hope of rest.
As chanting cranes will form a line in air,

So I saw souls come uttering cries-wind-tossed,
And lofted by the storm...

Once we know we are sinners and we know the penalty of sin is righteous judgment, then the Holy Spirit shows us The Way to salvation in Jesus Christ. This is where Dante goes from the center of Hell out to the other side and begins to go through Purgatory and finally Paradise in his poem. It is the righteousness of Christ who paid for our sins so that we don't have to suffer the eternal torment for our sins in Hell. He bought and paid for our salvation with His own Blood. As sinners, we cannot pay the price to save ourselves. It was an impossibility. We are born with a sin nature and we sin, therefore we could not purchase our salvation. Jesus Christ came as a man but also as a sinless man. He was a human on Mary's side and God's Son, thus deity, on God's side. No one, since the Fall of Adam and Eve into sin, had been born sinless until Jesus. Jesus was fully human but fully God. He was sent with a mission, a job to complete. To save the human race. He voluntarily took the job and was obedient and sinless even to His death. Therefore His precious, sinless blood paid the price for sin and He redeemed us from judgment and Hell. And it is a free gift to accept our salvation and eternal life in Heaven. The gift is offered to every single human being no matter what sins you have committed. The only unforgivable sin is to reject the work of the Holy Spirit and refuse Jesus Christ as your Savior. God loved us so much He sent His only Son, Jesus, to save us and all we have to do is accept the gift! We must go through conviction (realizing we are sinners), repentance (realizing we are under judgment and will suffer for our sins for eternity if we don't accept Jesus) receving Christ's forgiveness and acceptance by asking Jesus to be the Lord of our life.

Romans 3:10-26 (Living Bible) 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is good—no one in all the world is innocent.”
11 No one has ever really followed God’s paths or even truly wanted to.
12 Every one has turned away; all have gone wrong. No one anywhere has kept on doing what is right; not one.
13 Their talk is foul and filthy like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are loaded with lies. Everything they say has in it the sting and poison of deadly snakes.
14 Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
15 They are quick to kill, hating anyone who disagrees with them.
16 Wherever they go they leave misery and trouble behind them, 17 and they have never known what it is to feel secure or enjoy God’s blessing.
18 They care nothing about God nor what he thinks of them.
19 So the judgment of God lies very heavily upon the Jews, for they are responsible to keep God’s laws instead of doing all these evil things; not one of them has any excuse; in fact, all the world stands hushed and guilty before Almighty God.
20 Now do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying them; his laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners.
21-22 But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. 23 Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; 24 yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.
25 For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins. 26 And now in these days also he can receive sinners in this same way because Jesus took away their sins.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Proverbs 10:27-32

Proverbs 10:27-32 (NKJV) 27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
31 The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Proverbs 10:27-32 (NIV) 27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.
29 The way of the Lord is a refuge for the blameless,
but it is the ruin of those who do evil.
30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.
31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
but a perverse tongue will be silenced.
32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favor,
but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

Proverbs 10:27-32 (NLT) 27 Fear of the LORD lengthens one’s life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness,
but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing.
29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity,
but it destroys the wicked.
30 The godly will never be disturbed,
but the wicked will be removed from the land.
31 The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice,
but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.
32 The lips of the godly speak helpful words,
but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words.

Comparison and Contrast:

  • fear of the Lord prolongeth days; adds length to life; lengthens one's life
  • hope shall be gladness; prospect is joy; hopes result in happiness
  • the way of the Lord is strength; their way is a refuge for the blameless; the way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity
  • never removed; never uprooted; never disturbed
  • mouth brings forth wisdom; mouth bring fruit of wisdom; gives wise advice
  • lips know what is acceptable; lips know what finds favor; speak helpful words


  • shortened years; years are cut short; years are cut short
  • expectation shall perish, hopes come to nothing; expectations come to nothing
  • destruction; their way lead to ruin; fear of the Lord destroys the wicked
  • shall not inhabit the earth; will not remain in the land; removed from the land
  • froward tongue cut out; perverse tongue cut out; tongue that deceives will be cut off
  • speaks frowardness; speaks only what is perverse; speaks perverse words

David wrote this when he was betrayed by a friend:
Psalm 55:18-23 (BSB) 18 He redeems my soul in peace
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
19 God will hear and humiliate them—
the One enthroned for the ages—

Selah (Pause and think about it)

because they do not change
and they have no fear of God.
20 My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
21 His speech is smooth as butter,
but war is in his heart.
His words are softer than oil,
yet they are swords unsheathed.
22 Cast your burden upon the LORD
and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken.
23 But You, O God, will bring them down
to the Pit of destruction;
men of bloodshed and deceit
will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Psalm 84:5-7 (NLT) 5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the LORD,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7 They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

Psalm 17:1-7,16-18,20,27-29 (NLT)  1 Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes...
16 It is better to be godly and have little
than to be evil and rich.
17 For the strength of the wicked will be shattered,
but the LORD takes care of the godly.
18 Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent,
and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever...
20 But the wicked will die.
The LORD’s enemies are like flowers in a field—
they will disappear like smoke.
27 Turn from evil and do good,
and you will live in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice,
and he will never abandon the godly.
He will keep them safe forever,
but the children of the wicked will die.
29 The godly will possess the land
and will live there forever.

Romans 12:11-12 11 Do not let your zeal subside; keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer.

Remember, wisdom is godly wisdom. It begins and ends with God. All true wisdom comes from Him for He is wisdom. Father, Son and Holy Ghost are wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a reverent love and adoration of the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The first verse today says, "the fear of the Lord adds length to life". Does this mean Christians live longer than others?

We all were designed and created by God. And God knows the length of our days. When it is our time, He calls us. That may be at 1 day old or 99 years old, but all of us have a limited time on this earth. God alone is in control of the minute we are born and the minute we die. If we try to take control of these two things then we are trying to play God and we don't have the physical, mental or spiritual capacity to be God.

But there is still truth to these proverbs because God's people, those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, will live in eternity with God. But the wicked, the godless, the unsaved who have rejected Jesus Christ, will spend their eternity in judgment in hell and the Lake of Fire. Our inheritance is everything God offers us and we will live in eternal bliss. Our lives on this earth are limited and a very small blip of time compared to eternity. Our prospect is eternal joy! Our God is our refuge and strong tower. We shall not be removed. He establishes our eternal home and we are protected by Him forever!!

The wicked may prosper for a short time, but they will reap what they sow (ruin, destruction) unless they turn and repent and accept Jesus Christ. For those who refuse the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, their end is judgment in eternal flames. They may hope to escape judgment by doing something good to "pay their way", but their hope comes to nothing. We cannot save ourselves. Nothing we do can ever pay our way into Heaven. We can only be saved through Jesus Christ. We have to do it God's Way or we won't make it. People try all different kinds of ways to get into Heaven but unless it's through Jesus Christ, their hope comes to nothing and they suffer judgment. They may try to buy a stained glass window for a church; they may try to build homes for disabled veterans; they may give donations to the homeless... but none of that washes them of their sins. It only whitewashes their heart. Only Jesus can forgive and cleanse. Only the righteousness of Jesus Christ earns us acceptance into the family of God and gives us an inheritance of eternal life.

  • Are you one of the righteous, saved by Jesus Christ? Take a moment and praise and worship Him who has saved you! Thank Him for the inheritance you have that can never be taken away and the joy that is coming!
  • Are you one of the wicked, the unsaved? Have you come to the recognition that you cannot save yourself and you need a Savior? Now is the time to repent and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and come into your heart. There is no sin that cannot be forgiven except the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior. Humble yourself before Him and ask Him to forgive you and be the Lord of your life.
  • Do you have joy in the hope of your eternal life? If not, ask Jesus to come into your heart. If you do, praise God for His saving grace!

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Proverbs 10:26

Proverbs 10:26 (NKJV) As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him.

Proverbs 10:26 (NIV) As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so are sluggards to those who send them.

Proverbs 10:26 (NLT) Lazy people irritate their employers,
like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.

Proverbs 10:26 (MES) A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

Sluggard - habitually lazy person; a lazy, sleepy, slow-moving person; loves sleep and hates work; habitually lazy, idle and inactive; a person who is lazy, stupid, or idle by habit; indolent, laggard, loafer, drone.
As vinegar causes teeth to ache and smoke causes eyes to burn, so a sluggard irritates an employer, customers/clients and co-workers.

In one of my favorite British comedies, Keeping Up Appearances, there are 4 sisters: Hyacinth, Violet, Rose and Daisy. Their father is elderly and suffers dementia. Hyacinth loves her daddy but is very ashamed of his dementia, his lack of social status. Daisy is married to Onslow and she affectionately describes him as "bone idle". She, Onslow and Rose live "on the dole" which in America would be living on government welfare. Violet is a mentioned character but you rarely see her. She is married to a wealthy man and she has "a Mercedes, a home with a pool, sauna and room for a pony"! Her husband is always into some weird and embarrassing sex practices. Hyacinth is the middle class sister married to a timid Richard. They are middle aged, middle class, middle income but Hyacinth is deeply proud and wants everyone to think she's a wealthy, aristocratic socialite. She's very ashamed of Daisy, Onslow and Rose. And she loves to tell everyone about her sister who has a large house "with room for a pony". When she talks to Violet and she hears about her husband's latest fetish, Hyacinth tries to ignore that part and counsels her sister to overlook and stay with him because he's rich. When she talks to Daisy, she is critical of Onslow because he doesn't work and they live in a slum. When she talks to Rose (played by 2 different actresses) she's always encouraging her to find a rich man, someone with status. When I think of a sluggard, I think of Onslow.

Let's look at someone who was a hard worker, the Apostle Paul. He worked primarily for God as he led others to Christ and started churches. But he also did manual labor to cover his own expenses so that no one could accuse him of doing it for the money. Let's look at some clues he left us in his letters to different churches:

Acts 18:1-4 (NLT)  1 Then Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he became acquainted with a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently arrived from Italy with his wife, Priscilla. They had left Italy when Claudius Caesar deported all Jews from Rome. 3 Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was.
4 Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike.

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (CEV)  9 It seems to me that God has put us apostles in the worst possible place. We are like prisoners on their way to death. Angels and the people of this world just laugh at us. 10 Because of Christ we are thought of as fools, but Christ has made you wise. We are weak and hated, but you are powerful and respected. 11 Even today we go hungry and thirsty and don't have anything to wear except rags. We are mistreated and don't have a place to live. 12 We work hard with our own hands, and when people abuse us, we wish them well. When we suffer, we are patient. 13 When someone curses us, we answer with kind words. Until now we are thought of as nothing more than the trash and garbage of this world.

1 Corinthian 9:1-23 (NLT)  1 Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? 2 Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle.
3 This is my answer to those who question my authority. 4 Don’t we have the right to live in your homes and share your meals? 5 Don’t we have the right to bring a believing wife with us as the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers do, and as Peter does? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have to work to support ourselves?
7 What soldier has to pay his own expenses? What farmer plants a vineyard and doesn’t have the right to eat some of its fruit? What shepherd cares for a flock of sheep and isn’t allowed to drink some of the milk? 8 Am I expressing merely a human opinion, or does the law say the same thing? 9 For the law of Moses says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” Was God thinking only about oxen when he said this? 10 Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest.
11 Since we have planted spiritual seed among you, aren’t we entitled to a harvest of physical food and drink? 12 If you support others who preach to you, shouldn’t we have an even greater right to be supported? But we have never used this right. We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.
13 Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News!
17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.
19 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

2 Corinthians 2:17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-9 (NIV)  1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children a among you.
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.

The Apostle Paul took pride in preaching and teaching without charge to anyone. He lived to preach about salvation through Jesus Christ, the gospel. But he worked a day job to cover his own expenses. He probably rarely had time to be "idle" and certainly not, as Daisy would say, "bone idle".

Being a good worker, a hard worker, an honest and dependable worker will usually take you far. If you are reliable and do a good job, you are usually rewarded. If you are a slacker and everyone else has to take up the slack and do more work because you don't do your job, you will have consequences. Your co-workers won't like working with you. Your boss looks for ways to get rid of you. You don't get promotions or raises. You might not get a good work reference when you apply for another job. You will be the first to be laid off in a general lay off. If you manage to keep your job, you will face conflict and tension with co-workers who are tired of doing your work for you and from customers and clients who don't appreciate you wasting their time.

Have you ever seen a worker who is slow, inept, inefficient? My niece and I took her children to a drive-in restaurant. They took our order and we paid for it at the menu board where we parked in their parking lot. The poor young man who brought us our order had not gotten it right. He ended up making 3 trips back and forth to get it right. He had the printed out ticket but he kept getting it messed up. I don't know if he couldn't read or just wouldn't take the time to read it. But it cost him in back and forth trips. We tried to be kind about it but you know there are people out there that won't be. All he had to do was read the ticket and place the items on a tray and bring it to us. But he wasn't going to go to the trouble of doing that and we had to keep telling him what we were missing. It seems we probably had been mixed up with another order. It's not only aggravating for the customer, but for him too because he was the one having to make the trips back and forth.

  • Have you ever gone to a business where the employee is sluggish, lazy, inefficient, and unreliable (gets the orders mixed up)? Is it aggravating? Waiting in line because someone is slow and doesn't care? You get your order and you have to go through it to make sure it's right and to get them do it again? I'm sure you have, now how did you handle it? With grace and patience? With understanding? With gritted teeth ("like vinegar to the teeth")? Or did you have a tantrum, jump across the counter and throttle the employee? Journal about the correct way to handle it and why.
  • Have you ever worked with, or employed, someone who is a sluggard? Is it irritating like "smoke in the eyes"?
  • Have you ever been a sluggard at home or on the job? Would someone consider you "bone idle"? Now that you have read this post, what are you thinking? Time for a change? Are people enabling you to be lazy? Are they doing the work for you? How fair is that to them? Are people saddled with doing their job and yours too?
  • Are you appreciative of a good worker? If you are an employer, how have you rewarded good work? If you are a co-worker, how have you shown appreciation to those who work hard around you. Many hands make light work. A good co-worker makes going to work easier and a joy. Show some appreciation. Are you a customer or client and you have received good service? How can you reward the worker?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Proverbs 10:24-25

Proverbs 10:24-25 (NKJV)  24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

Proverbs 10:24-25 (NIV)  24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
what the righteous desire will be granted.
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
but the righteous stand firm forever.

Proverbs 10:24-25 (MES)  24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
    what the good people desire, they get.
25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
    good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

The difference between the righteous and the wicked lies not in the existence of these emotions of fear and hope now, but in their issue at last. In each character there are the same two emotions now; in each, at the final reckoning, one of these emotions will be realised and the other disappointed. It is not difficult to ascertain what are the chief fears and desires of a wicked man. Cleaving to his sins, he is in enmity against God. The terrors of the Lord glance from time to time like lightning in his conscience. He fears the wrath of God, and the punishment of sin. What does he desire or hope? His desire for time is the indulgence of his appetites; his desire for eternity is that there should be no God, or at least, that He should not be just to mark iniquity. What becomes of the fears of the righteous? What becomes of the darkness when the daylight shines? When Christ comes, His coming shall be morning. The saints are subject to fears. The promise to believers is not that they shall never fear; it is that the thing feared will never come upon them. Their desire is that they may be pardoned through the blood of Christ, and renewed after His image. When these are the desires of our souls, how safe we are! - The Biblical Illustrator, W. Arnot, D.D.

The unsaved fear God and the righteous judgment which is the consequence of their sins. They may renounce God and declare Him dead. They may scream to the tops of their lungs that there is no God. They try to make themselves into their own tin gods. They worship themselves and they try to have control over everything. They think they are the captains of their fates. But deep down they fear that there is a God and He is the one in control and they are going to face Him in judgment. The wicked are afraid of being seen for who they really are. They are afraid of being exposed and others seeing their evil and shameful deeds. They are afraid of the consequences of their sins. They are afraid of dying and facing judgment. They are afraid of being caught and losing everything, especially control.

You can find plenty of living examples of those who have been caught and have lost all control over their lives. Prisons are full of criminals who thought they were in control and somehow they wouldn't be caught. Addicts who thought they were in control and somehow they wouldn't become addicts who have lost all control over their lives. Adulterers who thought they were in control and somehow they would get away with it but have lost their loving spouses and trusting children in costly divorces. And if they don't repent, they face everlasting judgment for rejecting Jesus Christ and His forgiveness.

Just when you think you've got it all covered and you can do what you want is the moment you should be very afraid.

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
The story centers on Sherman McCoy, a successful New York City bond trader. His $3 million Park Avenue apartment, combined with his aristocratic wife and their expenses, required to keep up appearances, are depleting his income. He is a Yale graduate and a very successful bond seller. In the early part of the book, McCoy sees himself as a self-described "Master of the Universe"! I.e. he sees himself as God. From his lofty, and wealthy, perch, he looks down on everyone else. In his smug superiority, he looks down on his wife, his child, his dog, his mistress, his co-workers, the man on the street. Only he is worthy of praise. Everyone else is only worthy of his disdain. They are the leavings on the bottom of his shoe. He is in control and he does whatever he wants because he thinks it's owed to him. The universe should bless him because he deserves it.

For example, he looks at his wife, who is goodlooking for a woman of 40. She keeps herself in good physical shape. But he has no admiration for her, only disdain. She's "skinny" and "40". He thinks he deserves better and has an adulterous affair with a younger woman, Maria, the socialite wife of another Park Avenue millionaire. Although what they do to their respective spouses and children is shameful, deceitful and low down, he doesn't see it that way. He's doing what he wants to do and he thinks he deserves to sin with no consequences. Whatever he wants, he deserves, because he's the "Master of the Universe".

But one night, in one second, his life is ruined. He and Maria get lost in a bad NY neighborhood. They try to exit onto a highway but the exit is blocked. He gets out to move stuff out of the way. Two black men approach him and he and Maria get scared. She jumps into the driver's seat and picks up McCoy and fishtails out of there. But as the car skids, it evidently hits one of the black men, killing him. A drunk of a reporter and a pathetic civil attorney figure out the black man was hit by a car owned by a wealthy, white man. They turn it into a hate crime and it's picked up by an African American group led by the notorious Reverend Bacon as a racial injustice. It all comes tumbling down.

In the Old Testament we find the story of Noah. The story begins with:

Genesis 6:5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:8-9  8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

He was righteous because he believed in God. God directed him to build an ark and Noah obeyed because he believed in God. It took 120 years for Noah to build the ark and he preached righteousness to those who came around to mock him. When it was finished and it was time to load up, God told Moses. Once all the animals were loaded up, Moses and his family went in and God shut the door on the ark. Then came The Great Flood. Moses and his family were rescued by God and God made sure the ark made it safely back onto dry land. When they were allowed back out of the ark, God opened the door. Noah immediately made an altar and sacrificed in worship of God.

Genesis 8:20-21  20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

What a difference between Sherman McCoy, who thought he was Master of the Universe, and Noah, the one who depended on the true Master of the Universe, God! What McCoy was afraid of, happened. But Noah had an everlasting foundation in God.

  • What would be the worst nightmare of someone who has rejected Jesus Christ as Savior?
  • Write out your comparison of Sherman McCoy and Noah. What are the contrasts?
  • Can you think of your own example of someone who thought they had it all but lost it all in a moment?
  • Read Psalm 145:18-20 and ponder on it in your journal.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Proverbs 10:23

Proverbs 10:23 (BSB) The fool delights in shameful conduct, but a man of understanding has wisdom

Proverbs 10:23 (NKJV) To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.

Proverbs 10:23 (NIV) A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.

Proverbs 10:23 (MES) An empty-head thinks mischief is fun, but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
The fool - לִ֭כְסִיל (kesil, liḵ·sîl) - Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3684: Stupid fellow, dullard, fool

delights - כִּשְׂח֣וֹק (sechoq, kiś·ḥō·wq) - Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7814: Laughter, derision, sport

in shameful - זִמָּ֑ה (zimmah, zim·māh) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2154: A plan, device, wickedness
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon adds: wickedness in action

This proverb says that a fool, or a stupid person, enjoys sinful behavior and sees it as a game. He/she doesn't realize they are playing with fire, literally. Because the end of sin is complete destruction here and eternal fire for eternity.

They have no fear of God, or of judgment, because they are spiritually blind. They reject Jesus Christ and make their own choices. And sin becomes a joke to them. They laugh until they find themselves in misery and bondage to it.

Netflix has released an original comedy series called INSATIABLE in which Patty decides to enter beauty pageants after losing a lot of weight, so she can “reinvent” herself and shut down her critics who bullied her when she was overweight. In the seventh episode called “Miss Magic Jesus Pageant,” a choir of women in white choir robes and bling sashes dance while singing disgusting lyrics like “Spirit please ride me,” while mimicking lasso motions with their hands. They continue, “Oh Jesus You fill me in every single way…”

They think it's funny to mock Jesus.

Rapper Namewee came out with a music video entitled "Oh My God". The video features four men dressed as Jesus Christ, fifth century Buddhist monk Xuan Zang, a Taoist priest and a gun-toting man wearing a white robe and headgear. The video starts with the "azan" (call for prayer), a church choir and the ringing of Buddhist meditation gongs, as well as Hindu temple bells. He loosely uses faith-oriented terms, such as "Namo Amitabha," (referencing means boundless light and infinite life in Buddhism), "Hallelujah," "Om Mani Padme Hum" and "Allah".

They think it's funny to mock Jesus.

A Portuguese-language Christmas special on Netflix, “The First Temptation of Christ,” tells the story of Jesus returning home from the desert for his 30th birthday, in a highly satirical format. He arrives with a flamboyant gay male companion, Orlando, who makes direct innuendos that he and Christ are gay lovers.

They think it's funny to mock Jesus.

Comic Kathy Griffin, at the 59th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards held recently, was honored for having the Outstanding Reality Program. "I guess hell froze over," Griffin announced. "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this. ... Suck it, Jesus! This award is my god now."

They think it's funny to mock Jesus.

They make it into a game. They are deliberately trying to go as far as they can with their filth and then, when someone calls them on it, they reply, "It was only a joke". Sinners (and we all were sinners until we found Jesus Christ) want to sin and they don't want the consequences of sin. They want their "cake" and "eat it too". And, heaven forbid, anyone should suggest that judgment is coming and they are facing eternal damnation for their rejection of Jesus Christ who came to save them from their sins. Then they want to say, "A good God wouldn't send people to hell." Ummmm.... He didn't. You send yourself there. He provided the way of escape but if you reject His Way through His Son, Jesus Christ, you have made your own choice.

I am not trying to be self righteous here for we all are born sinners and we all sin. I was just as much a sinner as anyone else. I was damned to hell just like every other human being. But God knew we couldn't save ourselves and He loved us enough to send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for us in order to save us. Thank God for salvation and forgiveness. Thank God for His mercy and grace. Thank God He sent the Holy Spirit to open blind eyes and open deaf ears to see and hear the truth.

I am blessed to have heard the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ at my parents' knees. I was brought up on the stories of the Bible and going to church. I was taught how to pray by my parents. My extended family were Christians. When I was 8 years old I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to be saved and baptized. It was a big deal in my life when I went forward and when I was baptized. But if I had rejected that first calling, I could have died a sinner. We reach an age of accountability. I.e. we've heard the Holy Spirit calling to us and we know we have a choice. The Holy Spirit would have continued trying to call me, knocking on the door of my heart. But if I reject His call my heart would have hardened a little more each time until I no longer heard His call. The Holy Spirit never quits trying to reach us but we choose to accept or reject Him each time. If we reject, our hearts harden. I praise God that I accepted the first time I heard the call!!! That doesn't mean I no longer sin. But it means I am saved from my sins and I will spend eternity in Heaven! Jesus forgives, cleanses us and clothes us with HIS righteousness. Because of what He did on the cross, we can have a relationship with God! We can be His children! But no matter where you are in life, you can stop right now and accept Jesus as your Savior.

It's not funny. It's not something to mock, ridicule and make light of. It is godly wisdom. A wise person will hold godly wisdom precious, more valuable than gold.

Fools laugh and brag about their sexual exploits. Fools think it's a game to rob a man or woman of their virginity. Fools play drinking games until they are drunk while fools laugh and jeer them on. They think it's funny to get a girl drunk and take advantage of her. People who play eating games to see how much they can eat while crowds cheer and laugh as they gobble the food or eat enough to throw up. It's gluttony! They like to make a game of stealing and shoplifting to get a rush if they get away with it. People like to lie and manipulate others and then laugh behind their backs. They push, push, push others to follow them in their sins until the person gives in. They mock, ridicule, bully, call names until the person is worn down and gives in. Then they clap them on the back, roar in approval and welcome them to the sinner's circle as though it were some kind of cozy club. Gangs don't let you in until you prove you are just as evil as they are! Girls and boys think it's funny to bully and make fun of someone else; to ridicule and target someone to make their lives a living hell. Then they gossip and text back forth, laughing up their sleeves as though someone's misery is a joke to them.

Psalm 10 (NLT) 1 O LORD, why do you stand so far away?
Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
2 The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor.
Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.
3 For they brag about their evil desires;
they praise the greedy and curse the LORD.
4 The wicked are too proud to seek God.
They seem to think that God is dead.
5 Yet they succeed in everything they do.
They do not see your punishment awaiting them.
They sneer at all their enemies.
6 They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us!
We will be free of trouble forever!”
7 Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats.
Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues.
8 They lurk in ambush in the villages,
waiting to murder innocent people.
They are always searching for helpless victims.
9 Like lions crouched in hiding,
they wait to pounce on the helpless.
Like hunters they capture the helpless
and drag them away in nets.
10 Their helpless victims are crushed;
they fall beneath the strength of the wicked.
11 The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!
He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”
12 Arise, O LORD!
Punish the wicked, O God!
Do not ignore the helpless!
13 Why do the wicked get away with despising God?
They think, “God will never call us to account.”
14 But you see the trouble and grief they cause.
You take note of it and punish them.
The helpless put their trust in you.
You defend the orphans.
15 Break the arms of these wicked, evil people!
Go after them until the last one is destroyed.
16 The LORD is king forever and ever!
The godless nations will vanish from the land.
17 LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.
18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed,
so mere people can no longer terrify them.

Psalm 36 (NLT) 1 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.
They have no fear of God at all.
2 In their blind conceit,
they cannot see how wicked they really are.
3 Everything they say is crooked and deceitful.
They refuse to act wisely or do good.
4 They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots.
Their actions are never good.
They make no attempt to turn from evil.
5 Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the ocean depths.
You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.
7 How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
All humanity finds shelter
in the shadow of your wings.
8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,
letting them drink from your river of delights.
9 For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;
give justice to those with honest hearts.
11 Don’t let the proud trample me
or the wicked push me around.
12 Look! Those who do evil have fallen!
They are thrown down, never to rise again.

  • Can you think of someone who "delights in shameful conduct"? Journal about it.
  • Can you think of someone who thinks "evil is like sport"? Journal about it.
  • Can you think of someone who "finds pleasure in wicked schemes"? Journal about it.
  • Can you think of someone who thinks "thinks mischief is fun"? Journal about it.
  • The Psalmist in Psalm 10 and 36 begin by expressing their feelings. They feel like God is allowing the wicked to get away with their sin. God extends mercy to sinners and gives them time to repent. Some will and some won't. Meanwhile, those of us who are saved are wondering what's going on? But the Psalmist comes back to trusting in God by the end of their prayers. We can express our true feelings to God, but we also must bring ourselves back around to trusting in His almighty love, goodness, justice and power! Have you ever felt this way? Try praying through these psalms.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Savannah And Will In the Pool

My sister and her husband have a pool. Their son brought his two children over to play in the pool. One of my sister, Elaine's dogs loves to swim with them. So I made these digital scrapbook pages of them swimming with the Pomeranian.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Reagan And Her Tea Party

A couple of years ago, I collected things to give to the grandnieces as they grew old enough to play with them. Little kitchen and tableware things. Our grandniece, Reagan, had a tea party yesterday with some of the things I had given her. Here is the digital scrapbook page I did of Reagan and her tea party.

Proverbs 10:22

Proverbs 10:22 (NKJV) The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22 (NIV) The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

Proverbs 10:22 (NLT) The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

I want to share a story with you in the Bible about a man who acquired great wealth from the Lord:

Genesis 26 (NLT) 1 A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived.
2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar.
7 When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” 8 But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah.
9 Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?”
“Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied.
10 “How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.”
11 Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”
12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORD blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15 So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.
16 Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18 He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.
19 Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20 But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21 Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22 Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the LORD has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”
23 From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24 where the LORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.
26 One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander. 27 “Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.”
28 They replied, “We can plainly see that the LORD is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. 29 Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the LORD has blessed you!”
30 So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. 31 Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace.
32 That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. 33 So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”).
34 At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.

In Genesis 26, we see Isaac, who had been residing at Hagar's well in the wilderness of Beersheba, is about to move his entire entourage to Egypt to escape the famine. But when he gets to Gerar, God stops him and tells him not to go to Egypt but to stay in the land. Isaac obeys God.

The Biblical valley of Gerar (Genesis 26:17) was probably located in the area of Wady Sheri'a. Currently it is believed to be the valley of Nahal Gerar. - Wikipedia

Isaac is now the heir, and therefore the holder, of the promise. Hence, the Lord enters into communication with him.

This tells me that God is in contact with Isaac and Isaac is listening. He has a relationship with God. And Isaac obeys what God tells him to do!

In this chapter we see God revealing His Presence with Isaac not once, but twice! In verses 2-5 and again in Beersheba in verses 24-25. He promises Isaac the same promise He had told Abraham. Isaac had been well trained and educated by Abraham on faith in God. He had heard the stories of his birth! He knew what a miracle it had been! I'm sure Abraham had told Isaac all about the promises and their family history (otherwise, it wouldn't have been passed down in order for Moses to record much later). And remember the story of how God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Isaac was no small child. Yet he went with his father willingly and did not fight his father when he was bound and Abraham had his knife raised. God stopped Abraham in time. It had been a test and Abraham, and Isaac, had passed the test. They trusted God so deeply that they were obedient even if it meant death. They knew God had promised a great amount of descendants through Isaac. He was the promised son. So they trusted that God knew what He was doing and would even raise Isaac up from the dead if need be. So they were obedient. Now God is confirming to Isaac what Isaac had already been taught by his father, Abraham, and what he had believed in all his life.

The Bible tells us that Abraham had faith in God and was made righteous because of his faith.

Galatians 3:6-9 (NIV)  6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV) 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

But Isaac makes a mistake out of fear in verses 7-11. He is afraid that Rebecca's beauty would entice men who would kill him to possess her! Abraham, himself, had done this twice before with Sarah! How could a man lie out of fear when he had just had a time with the Lord?!?

In this narrative Isaac from motives of fear tells the inhabitants of Gerar that Rebekah is his sister. The resemblance to the similar narratives in the story of Abraham (1) in Egypt, Genesis 12:13, (2) at Gerar, chap. 20, is obvious. - Cambridge Bible for Scholars

So Isaac enters into the same temptation that his father had been once and again surprised and overcome by, namely, to deny his wife, and to give out that she was his sister! It is an unaccountable thing, that both these great and good men should be guilty of so odd a piece of dissimulation, by which they so much exposed both their own and their wives’ reputation. - Benson Commentary

There is nothing in Isaac's denial of his wife to be imitated, nor even excused. The temptation of Isaac is the same as that which overcame his father, and that in two instances. This rendered his conduct the greater sin. - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

Rebekah was at this time not less than thirty-five years married, and had two sons upwards of fifteen years old. She was still however in the prime of life - Barne's Notes On The Bible

He said, she is my sister; herein imitating his father Abraham in his infirmity and unbelief, who in the same place had made such an answer to a like question concerning Sarah, Genesis 20:1; and which if Isaac knew of, as probably he did, one would wonder that he should fall into the same evil, ... the fear of men, which brings a snare, led him to this... - Matthew Poole's Commentary

By which we see that fear and distrust is found in the most faithful. - Geneva Study Bible

We are currently living in some perilous times. I am writing today while in quarantine during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. We have stay-at-home orders from our Governor. (So far we are not sick, praise God!) I have been making sure I spend my daily time with God. I've continued reading and studying the Bible, praising God, prayer and watching our church on livestream on Sundays. Yet I have had periods of deep fear and depression during this time. I'm no better than Abraham and Isaac were and they were no better than I am. How can we spend time with God and experience His presence then go out and face the day and fear come over us? I don't know but we do. It is sinful and something to fight. We win those fights and we lose some fights. Jesus is forgiving.

While in Gerar, Isaac planted crops. Having been nomadic (moving around), he had lots of livestock but in Gerar, he actually plants crops and God blesses them so that he reaps 100 fold over what he planted. His livestock greatly reproduce too. He is blessed. He becomes a very wealthy man, so much so that the citizens are jealous and concerned. They stop up Isaac's wells with dirt to force him to go away. King Abimelech asks him to leave his country because he's afraid Isaac could take control. So Isaac causes no trouble and moves on. Twice he stops thinking he has found a place and he has his men dig wells. But the citizens are afraid of him and they don't want him to settle in their community so they dispute the wells again and again. Isaac has the men and the money to stay wherever he wants to stay. But Isaac does not force his way. He just meekly moves on. He is a peacemaker, not a troublemaker. And God blesses him with a place for him to sink wells and live at Beersheba. Isaac had the right to those old wells of Abraham's. But he refused to make a stand and defend his rights, choosing to let God lead him to the right place.

Isaac digged again the wells of water—The naming of wells by Abraham, and the hereditary right of his family to the property, the change of the names by the Philistines to obliterate the traces of their origin, the restoration of the names by Isaac, and the contests between the respective shepherds to the exclusive possession of the water, are circumstances that occur among the natives in those regions as frequently in the present day as in the time of Isaac. - Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

The amazing growth of the stranger's wealth in flocks and herds and servants awakens the envy of the inhabitants. The digging of the well was an enterprise of great interest in rural affairs. It conferred a sort of ownership on the digger, especially in a country where water was precious. And in a primeval state of society the well was the scene of youthful maidens drawing water for domestic use, and of young men and sometimes maidens watering the bleating flocks and lowing herds, and therefore the gathering center of settled life. Hence, the envious Philistines were afraid that from a sojourner he would go on to be a settler, and acquire rights of property. They accordingly took the most effectual means of making his abiding place uncomfortable, when they stopped up the wells. At length the sovereign advised a separation, if he did not enjoin the departure of Isaac. - Barne's Notes On The Bible

The Philistines’ envy was very natural, since Isaac was an alien, and, in some sense, an intruder. Their stopping of the wells was a common act of hostility, and an effectual one in that land, where everything lives where water comes, and dies if it is cut off... He cleaned out the wells which his father had digged, and with filial piety gave them again the old names ‘which his father had called them.’ Some of us nowadays get credit for being ‘advanced and liberal thinkers,’ because we regard our fathers’ wells as much too choked with rubbish to be worth clearing out, and the last thing we should dream of would be to revive the old names. But the old wells were not enough for the new time, and so fresh ones were added... Such a quiet spirit, strong in non-resistance, and ready to yield rather than quarrel, was strangely out of place in these wild days and lands. He obeyed the Sermon on the Mount millenniums before it was spoken. Whether from temperament or from faith, he is the first instance of the Christian type of excellence in the Old Testament. For there ought to be no question that the spirit of meekness, which will not meet violence by violence, is the Christian spirit...  To fight for my rights is not the Christian ideal, nor is it the best way to secure them. Isaac will generally weary out the Philistines, and get his well at last, and will have escaped much friction and many evil passions. Isaac won the friendship of his opponents by his patience - McLaren's Expositions

They made Isaac go out of their country. That wisdom which is from above, will teach us to give up our right, and to draw back from contentions. If we are wrongfully driven from one place, the Lord will make room for us in another. - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

So, in the end, we have Isaac being well taken care of by God. God has blessed him in wealth, livestock, crops and an abundant place to live without any wars, armed conflicts or fights. Isaac let God handle all that and he just followed where God led him. Isaac didn't let those Philistines get to him. He must have thought to himself, "I know I have the right to these wells and land. I know I have the ability to force the issue. But it isn't worth it. I don't need the headache. I don't want to force myself into a neighborhood that hates me. I don't want to be surrounded by enemies. I can afford to walk away and let God take care of the situation."

He was blessed all the more for having left his "rights" in God's hands. Where he settles is back in Beersheba, his men dig a well and he has all the water he needs without having to strive for it. No one contests his new place so he has found peace. God comes to him the 2nd time with His promises and this confirms to Isaac that he's where he is supposed to be. He builds an altar to God and worships God just like his father, Abraham, had done!

The King Abimelech sees that Isaac has settled on land that is still under his control. Isaac is still in Philistine territory. The return of Isaac to Beersheba was a matter of concern to Abimelech. But Isaac has shown to Abimelech that he is not a danger. He has not shown any tendency towards war. So this time Abimelech goes to him and asks for a treaty of peace.

We will leave this story and go back to our verse in Proverbs, "The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it." We have learned about Isaac and how he was in relationship with God. He was not perfect but he tried to live his life based on his relationship with God, trusting God to take care of things. Because he was able to let go and let God, he lived at peace and was blessed. The blessings God gave him did not turn him to all the sinful ways most rich men follow. Whether it be miserly, fear, greed, lust, pride, gluttony, and all manner of evil, Isaac didn't fall into it. Isaac didn't get rich by acting on his greed and pushing his way to the top. Those kind of people make their fortunes sinfully and they will have no peace (unless they repent and come to Jesus). They may be rich, famous, powerful, popular but there is no peace, no blessing from God. Their wealth will torment them. Whereas, Isaac was blessed by God, and there was no guilt, no bad conscience, no sin consequences to deal with. He learned to trust in God and let God fight the battles. This kept him at peace and God poured even more blessing over him!

  • Write out our verse today in Proverbs in your journal. Answer these questions: Who? What? Why? How?
  • Go to Genesis 26:2-6 and list the blessings God promises to Isaac.
  • God had promised Isaac the land, descendants and blessing. Abraham had lived there too and had dug wells so the land was legally Isaac's. But when King Abimelech told him to move along, did Isaac fight back? He was wealthy enough and powerful enough to frighten King Abimelech so he obviously could have. He had "right on his side" and he had "might on his side"! But how did Isaac handle it?
  • He moved on to two other places where he went to the expense and investment of digging wells but the inhabitants disputed him. He ended up leaving wells that he dug and those inhabitants now used. Would you have done that? Why or why not?
  • Because of Isaac's humility and his trust that God would fight his battles and lead him to the right place, he was blessed and lived his life in peace. God did lead him to a place where he could settle down and live. His peaceful attitude also gave him a good reputation so that King Abimelech trusted him and made a peace treaty with him. What is your reputation? Are you a peacemaker or a troublemaker? Are you contentious and demanding or trusting in God and going with God's flow? Are you so aware of your "rights" that you fight for them all the time or are you able to let go of your rights, surrender them to God and able to trust Him to fight your battles?
  • Are you able to live in peace and humility or do you live in pride and conflict? Are you able to see how some things just aren't worth the fight or do you think everything is worth the fight because your pride won't allow you to quit?
  • Can you think of an example of someone who has led a humble, yet blessed life with peace and contentment?
  • Can you think of an example of someone who has pushed their way to the top, they have everything but are miserable for it? They have no peace.
  • Wells represented an investment and work in an area. You have to have water and wells were dug to reach that water. But you didn't go to the trouble and expense of digging wells if you weren't interested in sticking around. There were good wells and bad wells (with bad water or, in Isaac's case, were disputed). There are wells of favor and blessing and wells of bitterness and strife. What kind of well are you drawing from? Where have you pitched your tent and decided to live? What kind of well did you spend your time digging? What kind of well did you invest in? If it's not a well of living water, you've wasted your time, money and effort. Jesus is the well of living water, my friend, you can repent, pack up your tent and move to the well filled with living water. You don't have to continue to live off that bitter, poisonous water at your current well.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ryan Flexing

Our grandnephew, Ryan, was posing in his backyard. It reminded me of a photo of his great grandfather who struggled to get back into excellent physical shape after being in a Japanese POW camp during WWII. He had been starved and mistreated. He had dysentery. But when he made it back home, he put his focus on getting back into good physical shape so he could enjoy the sports he had enjoyed before the War. This is my digital scrapbook page I made of Ryan and his great grandfather.


Our grandniece, Brooke, made for such a beautiful photograph that I had to create this digital scrapbook page of her.

Stan's Scrapbook Pages

These are family photos of my husband, Stan. The first one is an Easter picture done in a digital scrapbook page. The other is a digital scrapbook page of him as a toddler.

Proverbs 10:18-21

Proverbs 10:18-21 (NIV) 18 Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips
and spreads slander is a fool.
19 Sin is not ended by multiplying words,
but the prudent hold their tongues.
20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of sense.

Proverbs 10:18-21 (BSB) 18 The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, sin is unavoidable,
but he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked has little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of judgment.

Proverbs 10:18-21 (MES) 18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
fools openly spread slander.
19 The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.
20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless.
21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

He who cherishes hatred in the heart must be a liar and a hypocrite, speaking and acting in a way contrary to his real sentiments; if he divulges his slander, he is a stupid fool, injuring his neighbour, and procuring ill will for himself. - Pulpit Commentary

If someone doesn't want his hatred revealed, he lies. He speaks one thing with his mouth but his heart is full of hatred. We can call this "two-faced". The term "two faced" refers to a hypocritical person. It refers to the Roman god Janus, who had two faces, one at the front of his head and another at the back. He was the god of beginnings and transitions. He was not only god of the first day of the year, first day of the month, beginning of the day, but also the god of doors, city gates and boundaries. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. There were many jani (i.e., ceremonial gateways) in Rome; these were usually freestanding structures that were used for symbolically auspicious entrances or exits. We use this term for someone who speaks one thing to one person or people and something else to others.
Although it's unethical to tell Jane Doe that you love her new outfit but you tell Joe Schmoe that you really hated Jane's new outfit, this is particularly damaging when you give a false testimony in a court of law.

One of the Ten Commandments:
Exodus 10:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Matthew 19:16-18 16 Just then, a man came up to Jesus and inquired, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask Me about what is good?” Jesus replied, “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness"

Exodus 23:1 You shall not spread a false report. Do not join the wicked by being a malicious witness.

Leviticus 19:11 You must not steal. You must not lie or deceive one another.

The Hebrew Bible contains a number of prohibitions against false witness, lying, spreading false reports, etc. (Exodus 20:16, Deuteronomy 5:20, Exodus 23:1-2, Proverbs 19:5, Isaiah 29:20-22) For a person who had a charge brought against them and were brought before a religious prosecution, the charge was considered as established only on the evidence of two or three sworn witnesses. In cases where false testimony was suspected, the religious judges were to make a thorough investigation, and if false testimony were proven, the false witness was to receive the punishment he had intended to bring on the person falsely accused (Deuteronomy 19:17-19). For example, since murder was a capital crime, giving false testimony in a murder case was subject to the death penalty. Those eager to receive or listen to false testimony were also subject to punishment. - Wikipedia

Someone who perjures on the stand in order to harm an innocent person is particularly evil. God knew that, with human beings, there would be those who would lie and deceive. So, when someone was accused of a capital crime, God directed His People to have more than one witness.

Exodus 17:6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but he shall not be executed on the testimony of a lone witness.

Let's take a look at a Biblical example:

Matthew 26:47-50 47 While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The One I kiss is the man; arrest Him.” 49 Going directly to Jesus, he said, “Greetings, Rabbi,” and kissed Him.
50 “Friend,” Jesus replied, “do what you came for.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus, and arrested Him.
59 Now the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were seeking false testimony against Jesus in order to put Him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 So the high priest stood up and asked Him, “Have You no answer? What are these men testifying against You?”
63 But Jesus remained silent.
Then the high priest said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
64 “You have said it yourself,” Jesus answered. “But I say to all of you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 At this, the high priest tore his clothes and declared, “He has blasphemed! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy."

By God's Ten Commandment laws, a person was not to give a false testimony. In the case of a capital crime (one that had a death sentence), the Jewish Law required 2-3 witnesses who agree. And if they give a false witness and it's discovered, the false witnesses should receive the same punishment that was meant for the one they lied about. Jesus was being tried in a religious court with the Chief High Priest and the Sanhedrin. They knew fully well God's Laws. But they couldn't find 2 people who could testify the same false story! So they questioned Jesus and Jesus claimed to be the "Son of Man" and He would be sitting at the right hand of God. They took that statement as blasphemy and blasphemy was considered a capital crime. The Roman civil authority didn't see it the same way which was why Pilate didn't want to put Jesus to death.

There are people out there who are malicious enough to lie about you. These lies can not only damage your trust, but your job, your reputation, your whole life. There are people who are so wicked that they maliciously lie about you in order to destroy you. They love the feeling of power and attention they get by doing it. Let's say a woman accuses a man of rape when she wasn't raped. Or a teenager hates a teacher, or doesn't like the grade they receive, so accuses the teacher of molesting them. Or a father accusing the mother of bad things in a custody case in order to get custody of a minor child. Someone who calls DSS just to cause a family trouble. A businessman who lies about his competitor. There are so many reasons people have to motivate them to lie. They may be afraid. They may be trying to avoid responsibility or negative consequences. They may see a reward for their lies: power positions, money, attention. They may be just so full of hatred and maliciousness. But it's evil and it's sinful.

Slander - a malicious, false, and defamatory statement; a false statement presented as a fact that causes injury or damage to the character of the person it is about. Slander is an oral statement while libel is a written statement that is false and damaging.

Do you talk too much? Verse 19 says being a blabbermouth can lead to trouble. When you talk too much, there is the chance you aren't careful with what you are saying. "I didn't mean it like that"; "Oops, I didn't mean to say that". We want to be careful of our words and think before we speak to lessen the chance of offending others or revealing too much.

Our mouth can be a source of great wisdom and encouragement. It can be edifying, uplifting, and give testimony and praise to God. But our mouth can also be damaging, destructive and evil. Jesus says our mouth reflects what is in our heart.

  • Have you ever been the recipient of someone's two-faced actions and words? They tell you something to your face but laugh at you behind your back? Journal about how that made you feel and why God addressed this in His Word.
  • Can you think of an example of someone who was a hypocrite? Were they really being a hypocrite or are you interpreting them as a hypocrite? Remember, none of us are perfect and sinless so check yourself and see if you had unrealistic expectations that no one can meet or was it truly egregious enough to be considered as hypocrisy? We are all hypocrites at one time or another. We expect others to behave better but we excuse our own misbehavior and we expect others to understand us. How much mercy can you extend someone considering we all do it? A simple example is someone who cuts in front of you and you become angry, shouting, cursing, giving the finger. But later, you accidentally cut in front of someone too because they were in your blind spot. You think you have an excuse and expect mercy from the other driver. But you didn't extend mercy to the driver who cut in front of you. Aren't you a hypocrite? As I said, we all do it at one time or another. Let's be merciful when we can be merciful and reserve judgment when we can.
  • Have you ever been slandered? Have you ever slandered someone else? Journal about that. God loves you and He knows the truth. There is help for those slandered and forgiveness for the slanderer.
  • What does your mouth reveal about you? Study James 1:19-27.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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