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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Proverbs 3:31-35

Proverbs 3:31-35 (KJV) 31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
32 For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
33 The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Proverbs 3:31-35 (NIV) 31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.

Proverbs 3:31-35 (NLT) 31 Don’t envy violent people
or copy their ways.
32 Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD,
but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33 The LORD curses the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the upright.
34 The LORD mocks the mockers
but is gracious to the humble.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools are put to shame!

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
envy - תְּ֭קַנֵּא (qanah, tə·qan·nê) - Verb - Piel - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7065: To be, zealous, jealous, envious

a violent - חָמָ֑ס (chamas, ḥā·mās) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2555: Violence, wrong

or choose - תִּ֝בְחַ֗ר (bachar, tiḇ·ḥar) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 977: To try, select

of his ways - דְּרָכָֽיו׃ (derek, də·rā·ḵāw) - Noun - common plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: the direction, path of their moral character and actions

"Whether public or private, the man who “grinds the faces of the poor” by severity and extortion, may succeed, may prosper; may, by this means, amass a fortune, and rise to still higher honour. He is not to be envied; not only because envy is in itself wrong, but also because there is really nothing in his character and career to produce it. His prosperity is not to be envied even by the poorest and most suffering victim of his oppression. And while he is not to be envied, far less are his ways to be imitated for the sake of obtaining the envied results--the same wealth, the same greatness, the same power." - R. Wardlaw, D.D., The Biblical Illustrator, Proverbs 3:31

Let's look at a biblical example of someone who opposed God. First a little background will open your eyes.

Edom means "red" and the Edomites descended from Esau, one of the twins born to Isaac and Rebecca. He was the eldest by mere minutes. But he sold his birthright to his twin, Jacob, for "red pottage". Esau means "hairy" or "rough". He was red headed and hairy and became a hunter. Jacob was talked into deceiving old, blind Isaac by his mother. They conspired to claim Isaac's blessing meant for his firstborn son, Esau. Thus Jacob became the head of the family, spiritual leader and the heir to the promises of Abraham. When Esau finds out, he was furious and wanted to kill Jacob but Rebecca tells Jacob to run away. This left Isaac's wealth to Esau to manage. Jacob pays for his deception by spending many years away and serving his father-in-law, Laban, and all the drama from his marriages to Laban's two daughters, Leah and Rachel. When he finally goes back home, he and Esau are reconciled. He apologizes and gives Esau gifts and Esau tries to refuse the gifts and forgives him. Esau married two Canaanite women to the dismay of his parents AND one of the daughters of his Uncle Ishmael (Isaac's half brother). He may also have been the ancestor of the Kenizzites and the Amalekites. The Edomites, Kenizzites and Amalekites were all enemies of Israel much later.

Next we will look at some scripture:

Matthew 1:18-25 18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged in marriage to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with Child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had pondered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to embrace Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus,d because He will save His people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son,
and they will call Him Immanuel”
(which means, “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and embraced Mary as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a Son. And he gave Him the name Jesus.
Matthew 2:1-21 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
3 When King Herod heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired where the Christ was to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah,
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and learned from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 And sending them to Bethlehem, he said: “Go and search carefully for the Child, and when you find Him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with great delight. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew to their country by another route.
13 When the Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up!” he said. “Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the Child to kill Him.”
14 So he got up, took the Child and His mother by night, and withdrew to Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
16 When Herod saw that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was filled with rage. Sending orders, he put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, according to the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. 20 “Get up!” he said. “Take the Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those seeking the Child’s life are now dead.
21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and went to the land of Israel.

The man we are going to look at is King Herod. Herod was born in southern Palestine. His father, Antipater, was an Edomite. Antipater had power, wealth and married the daughter of a noble from Petra (in southwestern Jordan), at that time the capital of the rising Arab Nabataean kingdom. Thus, Herod was of Arab origin, although he was a practicing Jew.

Antipater supported Pompey's (106–48 B.C.) invasion of Palestine in 63 B.C. in which he benefited greatly from the Roman association. Herod would meet Mark Anthony and become his lifelong friend. Julius Caesar also favored the family and he made Antipater and his family Roman citizens and procurator of Judaea in 47 B.C. Antipater appointed Herod Governor of Galilee, then tetrarch of Galilee. In 40 B.C., the Parthians invaded Palestine, Herod fled to Rome. He was made King of Judaea, given an army and he went back to take his throne. At the age of 36 he became King of Judaea and ruled 37 yrs. He increased his land and built massive fortresses, great cities and a splendid palace. He built the largest artificial harbor and the famous Masada (as a refuge for himself in case of revolt). He also rebuilt the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, called Herod's Temple. Herod was a political survivor. When civil war broke out in Rome between his friend, Mark Anthony, and Octavian, Herod first sided with Anthony and his ally, Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. But when Octavian (later known as Caesar Augustus) defeated Anthony and Cleopatra, Herod switched sides.

Herod was violent, cruel and mentally unstable. Herod suffered throughout his lifetime from depression and paranoia. He was distrustful, jealous, and feared conspiracy. So he ruthlessly crushed any potential opposition. The Jews never accepted him as their legitimate king, and this infuriated him. He was deeply in love with his second wife, Mariamne I, but his sister, Salome, poisoned his mind against her and he murdered Mariamne, their two sons, her mother, brother, and grandfather. He had 9 other wives and had 14 children. He disinherited and killed his firstborn son, Antipater. He killed another wife as well. So, although he would not eat pork, he would kill two of his own wives and three sons.

Herod died in Jericho, after an excruciatingly painful, rotting illness of uncertain cause, known as "Herod's Evil". Josephus states that the pain of his illness led Herod to attempt suicide by stabbing. He died unmourned and hated.

What Killed King Herod? Scholars At VA Health Care System/ Um School Of Medicine Conference Unravel The 2,000 Year-Old Mystery
Date: January 28, 2002
"Herod the Great expired from chronic kidney disease probably complicated by Fournier’s gangrene," according to the medical investigative work of Jan Hirschmann, M.D., staff physician at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and professor of medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.
"The texts that we depend on for a close description of Herod’s last days list several major features of the disease that caused his death—among them, intense itching, painful intestinal problems, breathlessness, convulsions in every limb, and gangrene of the genitalia," says Hirschmann.
Some have said it was complications of gonorrhea but... "I finally concluded that the most likely explanation was that his chronic kidney disease was complicated by an unusual infection of the male genitalia called Fournier’s gangrene," explains Dr. Hirschmann.

Why am I going into such detail about Herod the Great when we are in Proverbs 3? Because Herod the Great was a violent person who had great power, position, wealth. But Proverbs 3 says,
31 Don’t envy violent people
or copy their ways.
32 Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD,
but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33 The LORD curses the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the upright.

Is this not an apt description of Herod the Great? He was detestable to the Lord and He cursed the house of this wicked king. Although he had it all, he had no peace throughout his lifetime and died a horrible, putrefying, rotting death. He was in so much physical and mental pain he tried to commit suicide. But God didn't let him succeed. He had to feel the pain to the end and no telling what his eternal life is.

There are many men and women who use violence to get what they want. It may be a bully in the schoolyard, a rapist stalking women, a pedophile stalking children, a politician using his power to get rich, a gang member or drug dealer, a mafia gangster, a national leader who puts out hits, or a ruthless CEO of a corporation. And there are always those on the outside watching and wishing they could have what the violent people have. They are wannabes. They are envious, covetous, jealous, greedy, conspirers and schemers. But, if they were somehow able to assume the life of the one they want to emulate, they would find it doesn't make them happy. They would find the misery that await all who practise such evil. Would you really want to be Herod the Great? With all his wealth and power, his personal life was a horror and who knows about his eternal life? Would you sell your soul for a bowl of pottage? Really? Those who oppose God and do evil, will suffer.

The definition of froward is willful disobedience. The Old English root of froward is frāward, "turning away from," or the opposite of toward. A person who is willfully contrary, hard to manage, obstinate, perverse, petulant, averse, disobedient, ungovernable, not willing to yield or comply, always in opposition. Someone who is always bucking the system, someone who cannot go with the flow in the right direction.

There are times when we need people who buck the system and refuse to go with the crowd. If everyone is running over a cliff, you can be the one perverse person who refuses and runs away from the cliff. When someone is telling you to do the wrong thing and you refuse and insist on doing the right thing... good for you! They may get frustrated and angry with you but you were stubborn and stood your ground for the right thing! We can be stubborn as long as it's being stubborn for God!

But in this verse, "froward" is not meant as a good thing. Other translations use the words perverse, perverted, wicked, devious, evil, dishonest, one who goes astray, crooked, fraudulent, a transgressor. It means bucking God's system, refusing to obey God, unwilling to submit to God, disobedient to God, averse and contrary to God, fighting God, opposing God. Sometimes I think God is trying to keep us from destruction but we fight him every step of the way. Like the girl, in the gif below, fighting the man who is trying to keep her from doing something stupid.

"For the froward is abomination to the LORD."

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
detests - תוֹעֲבַ֣ת (toebah, ṯō·w·‘ă·ḇaṯ) - Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 8441: Something disgusting, an abhorrence, idolatry, an idol
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds: it's an abomination to God and His people.

Sometimes translated as loathsome, detestable, an abomination.

Loathsome - causing feelings of loathing; disgusting; revolting; repulsive
Detestable - disgusting, hateful or awful; used to refer to people or things that you hate very much; you dislike so much that you can't stand to think about it
Abomination - something regarded with disgust or hatred

Willful disobedience, opposing God, resisting Him, pushing Him away, walking contrary to Him is loathsome, detestable and an abomination to Him. Why? Because God is everything holy, pure, and righteous while a froward person is the opposite. Our sins push us away from Him and we turn our backs on Him. We run from Him, push away from Him, turn our face away from Him when we are froward. Rebelliously, willfully, and callously sinning. The end is death and eternal damnation for the unsaved. For the saved, who are behaving frowardly, it diminishes your rewards in eternity and stunts your spiritual growth here. So the consequences of a froward person is very destructive, to Christians or the unsaved. God loves and created each human being and He sent His Son, who died on the cross to save us from the destruction and judgment of sin. We are hurting ourselves needlessly. We can be saved. We can be cleansed and set free from sin. We don't have to walk in sin or be in bondage to sin. If we are, it's our own fault because God has provided the way to be free.

So God hates the sin that we fall into. He doesn't hate us. He loves us enough to hate what hurts us and is so destructive in our lives. He hates the sin that will result in judgment and eternal damnation to creatures He lovingly created. If you aren't saved through Jesus Christ, then you are risking judgment and eternal damnation. But you don't have to be at risk, take ahold of Jesus Christ! No matter what you've done, Jesus Christ can forgive you. No matter how loathsome, detestable or abominable your sins, God still loves YOU and Jesus Christ can forgive all sin. The ONLY sin that is unpardonable is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ.

God hates the sin because it's destroying His precious child, YOU! He loves you and He's trying to help you. But, maybe you are resisting Him, opposing Him, pushing Him away, turning your face stubbornly from Him.

Like a child having a temper tantrum, pushing away the very parent who would give his life for his child. If you have children, you know what I mean. You conceived them, carried them, birthed them, fed them, diapered their butts, provided clothing, food, shelter, medical care. You stayed up with them when they were sick. You enrolled them in classes and sports. You paid for the equipment, took them to every practise, went to every game. You've held them when they cried and had hurt feelings. You've laughed with them when they made jokes. But then they hit the terrible twos or the questioning fives or the I-wanna-do-it elementary school age or the defiant teens. No matter how good of a parent you are, or how good a child you have, at some point they will exert their independence and push you away in a big ole temper tantrum and scream, "I HATE YOU! I WISH YOU WEREN'T MY PARENTS! YOU DON'T WANT ME TO HAVE ANY FUN!"

You know how we know that? Because we did it. And our children will do it. And our grandchildren will do it. When it happens, it's so shocking to the loving parent who has arranged their whole lives around the care and love of their children. It's an arrow to the heart that wounds deeply. Most parents, of course, are adult enough to understand this is just a stage of immaturity. But some poor parents have children that never grow out of that stage. And some poor children have parents that are so immature themselves they can't handle those childhood stages in a mature and understanding way and make poor parenting decisions.

God has children who never grow out of their stage of rebellion against Him. No matter what He does, or has done, to save them, they hate Him. Despite trying to save them from sin and eternal damnation, it's like trying to hold on to a slithering eel greased in oil. They are determined to go their own way to destruction. God hates that! He loves the person He created, but He hates that sin is more important to that person even if it means eternal damnation.

One time I was visiting my niece and her husband and son, who was a toddler then (and they hadn't had their other 3 children). She took me, her son and her mother-in-law shopping but Brett was not in the mood for whatever reason. Maybe he was tired, hungry, cranky, didn't feel well, who knows at that age? As his parent, my niece is, and was, a great parent and parents can generally tell when something isn't working but we had driven quite a ways to go to this shop. We get to the door of the store and he (at 2 yrs old) throws a tantrum. He starts screaming, throws himself on the floor, kicking. She calmly picks him up and carries him kicking and screaming into the store (I actually have a picture! LOL!). I'm sure she was thinking she could attend to his need, whatever it is, if we can just get in the door and out of the cold. If he was tired, maybe a stroller ride and nap. If he was hungry, we could buy a snack or drink. If he was needing the bathroom, one is in the store. So she tried it all and nothing was working. She checked his face for paleness and his forehead to see if he had a fever. Nope. He was just in a bad mood. (I happen to have a husband who is 65 years old and he can be the same way, just in a bad mood and contrary no matter what.) We had to turn around and go back home. He fell asleep in the car seat from exhausting himself. He didn't get a toy, a treat, a candy because he was too busy having a temper tantrum. You know as the only child on that trip, with his mother, his grandmother and his great aunt, he could have gotten anything he wanted but he was too busy having a tantrum and missed the blessings he could have had. He made the trip miserable for everyone and we had to cut it short. All for what? Because he was being froward. Did any of us hate him? Of course not! We adore him. Were we disappointed that we couldn't do our shopping trip? Yes. Was my niece embarrassed? Yes. Did she hate to see him behave that way? Yes. But she still loved him and loves him and will always love him. It's the same way with God. He hates to see us self destructing, missing blessings and throwing away a perfectly good life for sin. But He loves us and He always will.

  • Did someone come to your mind when we talked about a violent person who may seem to have it all?
  • Have you ever envied someone and then found out how very terrible their life was due to their sin?
  • Have you ever seen a person self-destruct due to sin(s)? They had it all, but lost it all?
  • Have you ever seen the movies or read about Pablo Escobar, the originator of the first drug cartel? Some portray him as a Robin Hood because he did use his massive influx of drug money to do some good things. People may be envious of his money and the power he had. But the backstory is that he used violence to claw his way to the top of the heap and it was by violence that he became a multi-billionaire on Forbes List and it was by violence he survived as long as he did and it was by violence that he died at just 44 yrs old. The backstory that people forget is how many people he tortured and killed, how many people were enslaved to cocaine because of his "business", how sexually perverted this adulterer was and how mentally ill and paranoid he became due to his lifestyle of constant and continuous sin. For him, ordering people to be killed was like ordering scrambled eggs for breakfast. When you learn what his life was really like, behind the facade money gave him, it might make you think. He was hated, hunted, a fugitive from the law, his country and from every other drug lord wannabe. He had to have escape routes, bodyguards and security teams every moment of every day. He lived a double life with a wife and two children, throwing parties with pinatas full of dollar bills. But then would order people killed and give rewards for every policeman killed. "The LORD curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright."
  • Have you ever seen your sins as being self destructive? Did you realize that God doesn't hate you because of your sins, but He hates what sin is doing to someone He loves so dearly?
  • Have you ever thought you have sinned to badly that God must hate you? That you are an abomination to Him? I hope you have now come to realize that no sin is so bad that Jesus can't forgive and cleanse and He loves you. You may be so bad that no human being could ever forgive you, but God can. Don't throw away your chance to be forgiven, loved and have eternal life.
  • If you are a Christian, had you realized that when you choose sin over God, you are being froward? And how self destructive it is?
  • God gave us everything we need to live a Christian life. It is our own doing when we sin. It is our rebellion against God. We are saved but we are giving into sin and letting it rule our lives and cause destruction. Repent and accept His forgiveness, His love and His help (through the Holy Spirit that indwells in you). You may always have a weakness towards a particular sin but you don't always have to give in to it and become enslaved by it. The Holy Spirit can enable you to withstand temptation. But every time you give in to it, it becomes that much harder to be free. Not because it's harder for the Holy Spirit, but because your heart becomes harder and more stubborn.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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