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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, April 17, 2020

Proverbs 10:15-16

Proverbs 10:15-16 (KJV) 15 The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
16 The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

Proverbs 10:15-16 (NIV) 15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.
16 The wages of the righteous is life,
but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death.

Proverbs 10:15-16 (NLT) 15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
the poverty of the poor is their destruction.
16 The earnings of the godly enhance their lives,
but evil people squander their money on sin.

Proverbs 10:15-16 (MES) 15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.
16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

Having money in this world can be a practical advantage. You can afford to provide for your family and their needs. You can afford to pay for protection such as lawyers, professionals to do what you cannot do, bodyguards. You can afford to have security to a certain extent.

Mark 10:23-25 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Job 31:24-25,28 24 If I have put my trust in gold
or called pure gold my security,
25 if I have rejoiced in my great wealth
because my hand had gained so much,...
28 this would also be an iniquity to be judged,
for I would have denied God on high.

On the other hand, having a lot of money tends to make us feel self sufficient rather than trusting in God. We become full of pride and think we can take care of ourselves. We trust in our money rather than in our God. This is arrogance. As Christians, we must be sure we keep a balanced perspective. We can be thankful for material blessings but guard against pride and keep our focus and trust in God. God should be our refuge, our fortress, our ever present help NOT our money.

Psalm 46:1-3 (BSB) 1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in times of trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth is transformed
and the mountains are toppled
into the depths of the seas,
3 though their waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake in the surge.

Wealth has its advantages and poverty its drawbacks, and the fact is honestly stated.  - Cambridge Bible for Scholars

Poverty can be destructive in a real sense. Those who are poor and can't pay, have few advocates for them. Therefore they are vulnerable to the worst in society. They are taken advantage of.

...poverty exposes men to worse evils than itself, meanness, servility, and cowardice. - Barnes Notes on the Bible

The poor can become desperate, and in desperation or despair, they give in to the worst of mankind. They become drug addicts, or, to make money and become rich, drug dealers. They become prostitutes, or, to get rich, they become human traffickers pandering to every evil desire of man. Because they are greedy for what they don't have, they are willing to do anything.

On the other hand, those who are poor, may have less distractions and learn how to trust God for their every need. Rather than taking pride in their wealth and status, they can learn the valuable virtue of humility. Many poor people are spiritual giants because they have learned to trust in God as their only advocate.

Verse 16 tells us what is most important: "The earnings of the godly enhance their lives". First, who is godly? Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Remember, our sins are forgiven and we are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Of course, we also know that Christians are still vulnerable to sin. So those who are trying to stay close to God and live in a way pleasing to God, will have spiritual blessings and will be gathering treasures in Heaven.

If we are trying to live a godly life, then our God blesses us. It may be financially with better wages, promotions or better jobs. Or it may be by saving us money in some way. Or it may be spiritual blessings which far outweigh any physical or material blessings! We may learn humility, patience, trust, etc. Whatever our gain and blessing is, it comes without the worries of the world because our conscience is clear and God is giving it.

Another very practical way to see this verse is if we are saved, we are blessed by God because we are saved. You can't put a price on our salvation and eternal life! But, in addition to that, if we are trying to live a godly life, then we aren't wasting our money on sin. We aren't spending our money on booze for parties, on prostitutes for illicit sex, on drugs, gambling, hoarding,... You get my meaning? If I'm not buying hundreds of dollars in illegal drugs, I'm saving money. When people get caught for buying or selling illegal drugs or DUI's, they have to pay for lawyers, fines, and lose their job. If I'm not doing those things, I'm saving my money. If people have affairs outside their marriage and then get caught by their spouse, they are having to pay lawyer's fees, divorce expenses, alimony or child support. If I'm not doing that, I'm saving my money!

"Evil people squander their money on sin". I have seen people who make money, only to lose it by wasting it on alcohol, drugs, gambling. We have a hard time deciding if we should give to a homeless person because so many of them take that money and waste it on their sin rather than as a helping hand to get them going in the right direction again. Their poverty is a constant strain and stress so they use any money they get to try to "escape". But it just keeps them in poverty. Rather than getting out of the stressful situation, it's just a temporary escape and then it's back to the fear and stress of living homeless on the streets.

Then we've heard of people who have won some big settlement, lottery, inheritance and they are penniless in a short time because they squandered all of it. Wasted it in a round of parties with people who take advantage of them. They end up an alcoholic or drug addict with no money and no friends in a short period of time. They didn't use godly wisdom to save their money and invest wisely.

Then there is the one who may have made a lot of money and maybe trying to invest, but because they are not saved and they do not believe in God, they don't have His blessing. Their money becomes a trap to them or their investments don't pan out.

  • Can you think of an example of a rich person who trusted in their wealth to save them instead of God?
  • Can you think of someone who has a relationship with God and tries to handle their money wisely? They see God as their fortress and money as a blessing God has blessed them with and one they should handle according to godly wisdom.
  • Can you think of an example of a poor person who has let their poverty ruin them?
  • Can you think of a poor person who has a vital and fresh relationship with God and who has learned to trust God as their advocate and provider?
  • How about you? Where are you in your current situation? Are you rich, poor, inbetween? How have you handled the blessings of God in your life? Have you been able to trust God as your source, provider, protector? Or have you struggled and tried to do it yourself? Are you self sufficient or God sufficient? Are you proud of what you have done for yourself or are you humbly thankful to God for what He has bestowed?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Proverbs 10:13-14

Proverbs 10:13-14 (KJV) 13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.
14 Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

Proverbs 10:13-14 (BSB) 13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.
14 The wise store up knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool invites destruction.

Proverbs 10:13-14 (NLT) 13 Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding,
but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod.
14 Wise people treasure knowledge,
but the babbling of a fool invites disaster.

Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

A wise person will think deeply and pray deeply. They will read the Word of God and study it. They learn about God and what is right and wrong. With the help of the Holy Spirit within them, they develop discernment between what is of God and what is not of God, what is right and what is wrong. Those who are wise, speak carefully and with discretion. They give good advice and are edifying. They are encouraging, supportive, and always point you to God. They teach good things with their mouths. They lead others to think more deeply on subjects. They speak positive, faith-filled words. They use discretion. I.e. they know when to speak and when to be still. They know what to say and what not to say.

But there are those whose words are always stirring up trouble, gossiping, slandering, cursing, lying. They have never learned how to shut up. They talk too much and there is little worth in the constant stream of their mouths. They say things that get them into trouble. Have you ever been with someone that just can't shut up. They get into fights, arguments and quarrels. If you ever watch some of those reality TV shows where the police are trying to talk to someone, you will see people who refuse to obey the commands of the police and those who won't shut up. Their mouths are running non-stop and the lies, curses, threats, and blathering gets them in trouble. They escalate their problems by refusing to cooperate and by running their mouths. Their own mouth is the source of their punishment.

The woman in this video got herself in trouble because she kept her mouth running non-stop with curses, threats, and lies. She added resistance to her problems and it cost her.

And even our politicians let their mouths get them in trouble.

Because of her lies about Benghazi and her emails, she was punished by losing the election.

Your speech proves whether you have godly wisdom or whether you are a despiser of wisdom and of God. I remember when Vice President Joe Biden was caught on microphone whispering into President Obama's ear, "This is a big @$%!^* deal". The slip hit the news. He may have blamed the press who played it but it was his own fault. He knew he was near a microphone and he knew better than to use such language. But he did anyway. That's because he doesn't have any godly wisdom. How do I know? His own mouth betrayed him. All he had to say was, "This is a big deal" and there would have been no story. But he didn't use discretion and wisdom. If you don't have discretion and wisdom to control your own tongue on something so small, why should I trust you to have it when you are President of the United States? He has made so many slips over the course of his campaign that people are even wondering if he's having age related mental loss. But he won the candidacy for President on the Democratic ticket??? Bill and Hillary Clinton lied so many times and tried to cover up and deceive that I have no idea how anyone voted for them. They have proven themselves over and over again to be liars. They have exhibited no wisdom or discretion. They think of themselves as bulldozers. They wreak havoc by bulldozing and then try to cover up their mess. That's not good qualities to have in a president.

You can argue the same about President Trump and I agree. I didn't want to vote for him but I had no choice. At least the Republican party is closer to my values and beliefs than the Democratic party so I voted Republican. I have been happily surprised at how well Donald Trump is doing in the office of President. But I'm not in denial.

Why are so many people lacking wisdom? Because they don't believe in God. They have rejected God. They despise God. And it is only from God that we get true wisdom. Godly wisdom originates from God and they reject God. Therefore, they may have book knowledge (higher education); they may have some experience; they may have cunning cleverness... but they don't have godly wisdom.

When a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells in them. His job from that point on is to teach, train and empower your newly born spirit. Just think we have a private tutor who loves us and who can shed light on God and His Wisdom. It's like being privately taught by the world's greatest teacher. We have God's Word and we have the Holy Spirit as our teacher. The only caveat is that we must want to be taught. We have to come to the classroom, sit at the desk, open the book and talk to the Teacher. But so many of us Christians don't value godly wisdom. We don't seem to realize how precious it is! So we neglect our studies. We take the Teacher for granted. We play hooky day after day. We see our spiritual time as a drudging duty. Therefore, so many Christians are also lacking in godly wisdom

  • How about you? Have you realized the untold richness of wisdom that God has to offer? Have you really accepted that this priceless gift is offered to you freely through the Holy Spirit and the Word of  God? Do you treasure it? Do you seek it? Why or why not?
  • Have there been times when your mouth and your words got you in trouble? Did you fully realize it was your own words that brought the punishment you received? Or did you try to blame anything and anyone else but your own foolish words?
  • Even a Christian who has sat under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and gained deep insight and wisdom, can mess up. It's possible that they weren't as Christian as you thought they were. They could just have been con men. It's possible that they weren't as wise as you thought they were. They could have fooled you with their big talk which hid little time with God. It's possible that they are Christians and they have spent a lot of time under the teaching of the Holy Spirit but something has changed and has brought them down. They've messed up. Something has happened that has caused them to lose contact with the Holy Spirit inside of them. It could be mental, physical or spiritual trauma. It could be a besetting sin and their lifelong struggle against it has been temporarily lost. I.e. they've lost some battles with it and are in the midst of a spiritual crisis. It could be unacknowledged pride that has gotten a foothold. There are all kinds of reasons. These people need prayer and loving confrontation. Often they are resistant, hostile, and may even try to turn away from the faith because of the lies of satan that come pouring into their ears. Once down, they give up and it all comes crashing in on them. But, prayer can change things. And loving discipline can be effective. You don't cover up a pastor's scandal and let them keep preaching in the pulpit. You have to confront them and remove responsibilities and give them time and counseling. Sometimes a person will react with immediate repentance, humility and work with those who offer to help. Sometimes they don't, at least for awhile. Sometimes they become defensive, in denial, or so angry with God that they refuse help. We must continue to pray for them and offer them good counsel. The goal is to be able to restore to them in their relationship with Jesus and with the fellowship of believers even it's not back to leadership positions. Things may not go back to the same, but they can get better. If you've been involved in church for any length of time, you may realize this happens very, very often whether it's a pastor, a church leader, a teacher, a member. We may think they have it all together. And they may at times. But they also are human beings with faults and they can disappoint us, even shock us. If we can sin, they can sin. We are human beings. If you have experienced something like this, do you think your church leadership handled it correctly? Why or why not? How did the person respond? Do they still need prayer?
  • We will never be perfect 100% of the time. But the greatest assurance of being a good Christian is to spend daily time with the Teacher in prayer, meditation, Bible reading and study. How are you doing in this area? How would you rate your spiritual growth?
  • If you see your devotional time as time in a classroom being taught by the Teacher... the Teacher who knows ALL things... how are you as a student? A good student? A bad student? How can you improve? Do you want to take advantage of all that the Teacher has to offer? Why or why not?
  • I have a nephew who is so smart about teaching himself. If he comes up against a problem, he makes it his business to learn what he can so he can fix the problem. He has saved a lot of money that way. I have a friend who does this too. I'm amazed at how much they find on the Internet as free education. Our friend has been able to help Stan fix his truck. They save so much money fixing stuff themselves. My husband is a very hands on learner. He has taught himself so many things and has saved us many thousands of dollars. If we can teach ourselves about trucks and construction in order to save money... why can't we use these same ways to learn spiritually. However you learn... whether it's reading up on it, watching Youtube videos, listening to podcasts, chasing down things on Wikipedia or websites, studying diagrams... you can use those skills to learn with the Teacher. The Holy Spirit was there when you were created. He intimately knows you. He knows how you learn and He has tailor-made lesson plans just for you - GUARANTEED to work. All he needs is a cooperative and willing student who wants to learn. Are you willing?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Proverbs 10:12

Proverbs 10:12 (KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)  Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 10:12 (MES)  Hatred starts fights,
    but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
Hatred - שִׂ֭נְאָה (sinah, nə·’āh) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8135: Hating, hatred

stirs up - תְּעוֹרֵ֣ר (ur, tə·‘ō·w·rêr) - Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5782: To rouse oneself, awake

dissension - מְדָנִ֑ים (medan, mə·ḏā·nîm) - Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4090: A contest, quarrel

but love - אַהֲבָֽה׃ (ahabah, ’a·hă·ḇāh) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 160: Love (noun)

covers - תְּכַסֶּ֥ה (kasah, tə·ḵas·seh) - Verb - Piel - Imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3680: To plump, fill up hollows, to cover
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon adds cover, covering, to hide, as in a garment covers, clothing covers,

transgressions - פְּ֝שָׁעִ֗ים (pesha, pə·šā·‘îm) - Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6588: Transgression
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon adds transgressions against individuals

Hatred rakes up again old feuds which have slumbered, but love covers up and refuses to look at any wrong done to it. - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

The reference is primarily to the blood feud, the existence of which led to the establishment of the cities of refuge. Hatred keeps alive the old feeling of revenge, and seeks opportunities of satisfying it; but love puts aside, forgets and forgives all offences against itself. - Pulpit Commentary

Hatred stirreth up strifes upon every slight occasion, by filling men with suspicions and surmises, whereby they imagine faults where there are none, and aggravate every small offence.
Love covereth all sins; either doth not severely observe, or doth willingly forget and forgive, the offences or injuries of others, and so preventeth contention and mischief. - Matthew Poole's Commentary

Supporting Scripture

1 Peter 4:7-10 (NLT)  7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT)  1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

A major literary device in Hebrew poetry is parallelism. Antithetical parallelism provides an antithesis, or contrast. We have this contrast in our verse today:
Hatred vs. Love
stirring up vs covering up
promoting conflict vs promoting peace

Wicked people love stirring up trouble and causing drama. They thrive on it! They can never forgive; they demand revenge; they are never satisfied. They have to be right and they have to have everyone around them on their side. They will keep bringing up the offense and trying to force everyone to agree that they've been wronged. But it's not enough. They not only want everyone to agree with them, but for everyone to hate the offensive person and be as eager to punish the person as they are. You have to become just as angry and dedicate your life to the cause of revenge like they do. Otherwise, they haven't accomplished their "job".

Let's say John Doe owned a bakery and was contracted to make a wedding cake for Jane Smith. She wanted it a certain way and he made a mess of the cake. The cake wasn't what Jane Smith wanted. She becomes so angry that his cake "ruined her special day" so she had to tell everyone about the problem.  She goes to her fiance and her parents and unloads on them. Demanding that they be as angry as she is. Her anger, tears and bitterness don't run out with time, but grows. The more she talks about it, rehearses it, the angrier she becomes. She has to tell everyone about John Doe's bad cake and her job isn't done until everyone she tells is just as angry as she is. She wants to ruin his business just like her "ruined her special day". She expects everyone to boycott John Doe's bakery. So months later, she goes to a birthday party and her friend has a John Doe birthday cake. She is still angry and now is angry that her friend bought a John Doe cake after what he did to "ruin her special day". So she makes snide comments and has to tell the whole story over again to anybody at the birthday party who will listen to her. Still not satisfied that she's gotten her point across to the whole city (because John Doe is still in business), she goes to more extremes to ruin him. Her anger just keeps growing and she's out for revenge now. She gives bad reviews online to deliberately ruin his business. She writes a Letter to the Editor giving the whole story again. She gets her husband and friends to accompany her as they protest in front of the store. She calls the press to be there and she goes on camera telling about what a terrible cake John Doe made and how it "ruined her special day". John Doe has had it with Jane Smith and her vendetta, so he comes out and finally confronts her. This starts a new argument and now both are in heated exchanges and before you know it, everything is out of control.

Now let's look at the same scenario using the 2nd part of our verse, "love covers over all wrongs".

John Doe owned a bakery and was contracted to make a wedding cake for Jane Smith. She wanted it a certain way and he made a mess of the cake. The cake wasn't what Jane Smith wanted. She becomes so angry that his cake "ruined her special day". But, as a Christian, she knows the Bible says she should forgive. The big wedding has her pressured and anxious, she wanted everything to be perfect. But the cake is not. She goes to her fiance and her parents, tells them the story and cries. But, after some rest, and some time with God, she realizes that a bad cake is only one small part of the wedding and she gains perspective. Is it really going to "ruin her special day"? Not if she doesn't let it. As long as she's marrying the man she loves, all the details don't really matter. It's the love and the marriage that is to be celebrated, not the cake, flowers, dresses, etc. She decides to give it to the Lord and overlook the bad cake. There really is no reason to get so bent out of shape. It's only a cake. She wants her wedding to be a happy occasion, not a stressed out overwhelming occasion. She goes and talks to John Doe and expresses that the cake isn't what she expected but she does so with such grace that John Doe says he will try to make things right. On the day of the wedding, Jane marries the man she loves. Everyone is relaxed and celebrating when the cake comes out. John Doe has made the cake much better although still not exactly what she wanted. But she doesn't care because the purpose of the wedding has been accomplished - love, celebration and marriage. Six months later, she goes to her friend's birthday party. She notices the birthday cake is a John Doe cake. She remembers how her cake wasn't quite what she wanted but, six months later, she can't imagine why she got so bent out of shape about it She has totally forgotten about the cake since then. She looks around at her friends and remembers how they celebrated her wedding just a few months ago. Such happy memories from that time and the cake slides back out of her mind again.

In my simple example, you can see the contrast between Jane Smith stirring up hate and anger, out for revenge. And Jane Smith, using godly wisdom to gain a higher perspective and letting go of the anger. Which Jane Smith would you rather be? John Doe had made a mess of her cake. Maybe she had a reason for being angry with him. But godly wisdom helps us gain a better perspective and helps us let go and let God. Keeping all that anger stirred up leads to unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, obsessive desire for revenge. You can't let go. And you can't leave others alone unless they are just as angry and bent on revenge as you are.

"Hatred stirs up conflict", it keeps it going. It stokes the fires to burn ever hotter. They can't let it go. Like a dog worrying a bone. And, over time, all that anger is going to get a response. And then, one things leads to another like dominos falling. It gets harder and harder to forgive. In our example, when John Doe confronts Jane Smith's attempts to ruin him. Things get ugly on the street and he pulls out a gun and shoots Jane Smith and he goes to jail for murder. Now, her husband, who got pulled into the initial conflict, has to try and forgive John Doe of the bad cake, ruining his wedding day, AND murdering his wife. He becomes just as fixated on anger, revenge, "justice" as his wife was. She had stirred him up for six months over the silly wedding cake. John Doe's life is ruined. His family's lives are ruined and Jane's husband and parent's lives are ruined. Was a cake worth it?

Have you ever known someone who carries a grudge? They just won't let it go. They refuse to forgive. Right and justice are on their sides (so they think)! Everyone has to be on their side. They will keep it stirred up in their hearts and in their relationships with others. If someone, near and dear, doesn't agree with them, they will try their best to force them into agreeing with them and joining them in their cause. If it doesn't work, they reject them and refuse to have anything to do with them. If you refuse to become involved and complicit in their drama, you are dead to them.

Jealousy can get into this. I knew someone whose wife had lunch with a man at work. As far as I know it was totally innocent and it wasn't like she went anywhere with him. They just sat next to each other and talked while they ate their lunch before going back out on the floor. Her husband felt this was suspect and he couldn't forgive her. He kept stirring it up in his heart and trying to force her to believe she had done something terrible against him. His jealousy was seeing things that were probably not there and her denials just made him angrier. He started pulling other people into it to get them to agree with him. When they didn't, he just got angrier. He finally yelled, "I will never forgive her for this!" Thank God, this has a happy ending. I think he heard himself say that and realized how far he'd gotten over the edge. As I've said before, all of us have sin weaknesses that we struggle with and his is jealousy. The good thing is, he realized before it was too late that his jealousy, and unforgiveness, were getting out of control. He was able to get back into balance and save his marriage. Jealousy is still a struggle for him, but he struggles against it and hasn't just given up and embraced it. He realizes jealousy, and unforgiveness, can destroy your relationships and make you a very lonely person.

We've dwelled too long on hatred stirring up conflict and quarrels. Let's dwell now on love covering sins. There is a balance and I want to reach that balance.

When this verse says, "love covereth all sins", does it mean we cover up all sins and just love the person? I'm thinking not. For instance, if someone is a pedophile and has molested children, do we overlook it in love and just hide it? That's how some churches and church leadership have gotten into trouble. Catholic leadership who know children have been molested by priests and they didn't turn them into the police. They covered it up, tried church discipline and then moved the priest to another job. Did this work? No. I'm sure, in protestant churches, there have been "pastors" and "youth leaders" who have been found out. Church leadership might have tried to handle it by covering it up and quietly firing the pastor or leader, hoping the problem would go away and not affect their church. But that just passes a toxic situation on to unsuspecting people in the future.

We are to do all things in love. But a known pedophile who has proven to molest children, needs serious attention and tough love. Children also have to be protected from a wolf in sheep's clothing. Our children are our most vulnerable and they depend on parents and authority figures to protect them from someone like that. It shows love to be willing to protect children, even children who would be future victims. We cannot just shuffle it to someone else to have to handle later. This very real and sticky situation is probably more prevalent than it's ever been before due to the easy access to pornography and online relationships with others who train predators on how to hunt children. So it's a situation churches have to deal with now more frequently. I have no idea how a person can become so sick as to go after children and molest them. It is such a sick sin. But it is a sin just like my sins. We are all sinners and we all have sin weaknesses. All sin is equally destructive and calls for judgment from a righteous God. Thank God, we have Jesus Christ who forgives us, cleanses us and covers us with His righteousness. A pedophile can be forgiven. A pedophile needs to be handled with love and forgiveness but wisdom! God gives us godly wisdom to know that, although forgiven and saved, a pedophile needs careful handling because they are tempted to sin again just like you and I are tempted to sin again with our sins. Covering up a pedophile's crimes is no way to help them. It merely gives them freedom to keep chasing innocent children, magnifying their sin and hardening their hearts all the more. You've not done the pedophile a favor and you have exposed innocent children to harm. So, as a church leader, if you come up with this problem, you must have godly wisdom to walk carefully and stay in balance. Stay on your face before God and get His directions.

This extreme example should give us ideas on all other examples that we face daily. There is balance and God is in the balance. Let's look at an example in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian church about a sexual scandal. Let's look at it.

1 Corinthians 5:1-13 (NLT)  1 I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. 2 You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship.
3 Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.
6 Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

Apostle Paul is admonishing them to reveal, confront and strongly discipline one of the church members by throwing them out of the church. Evidently the church had been practising a little too much love that covers sin. In fact, so much so, they had been proud of their "love" and their inclusivity. But Paul tells them very plainly it's not something to be proud of.

This reminds me of churches who are proudly embracing homosexuals. They brag about being inclusive and open to anyone. They begin gay ministries, ordain gay ministers, include gays in church leadership positions and as teachers. Churches who should be teaching the evils of sin and judgment, are teaching it's OK to be a sinner and live a lifestyle of rebellion against God. God has said homosexuality is a sin and a perversion of sex. But churches have decided they know better than God and that homosexuality is no longer a sin. They have replaced God with themselves and their opinions and have decided to welcome those who are practising homosexuals. Homosexuals, who are practising sin, are in great danger and these churches aren't helping by patting them on the back and saying it's OK. Pastors need to tell people NO sin is OK. All sin is dangerous, destructive and ends in judgment. It ruins and rots our lives while we are on earth and can end in everlasting judgement in torment in the Lake of Fire. It's not love that pats a sinner on the back and says, "Run along and play" with something so dangerous and destructive. Love is telling someone how dangerous and destructive it is and encourages them to stop.

Back to our story. The Corinthian church follows Apostle Paul's advice and they excommunicate the man who was sleeping with his stepmother. The strong discipline must have worked because Paul addresses it again in the second letter to the Corinthian church.

2 Corinthians 2:1-11 (NLT) 1 So I decided that I would not bring you grief with another painful visit. 2 For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved. 3 That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful. 4 I wrote that letter in great anguish, with a troubled heart and many tears. I didn’t want to grieve you, but I wanted to let you know how much love I have for you.
5 I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me. 6 Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough. 7 Now, however, it is time to forgive and comfort him. Otherwise he may be overcome by discouragement. 8 So I urge you now to reaffirm your love for him.
9 I wrote to you as I did to test you and see if you would fully comply with my instructions. 10 When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive whatever needs to be forgiven, I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit, 11 so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.

Paul tells believers to distance ourselves from those who claim to be believers yet live immoral and destructive lives. We read that in the first letter to the Corinthian church. God instructs us not to participate in "unfruitful deeds of darkness" (Ephesians 5:11). On the other hand, Paul encourages believers to restore someone who is caught in sin (Galatians 6:1), and James tells us to bring a brother back who has wandered (James 5:19). Jesus says we’re to talk with those who have offended us, or feel we have offended them, so that our relationship can be healed (Matthew 18:15–17). There is balance.

People who are happily pursuing sin, or, are now so deeply entrenched in sin and are in bondage to it, need to wake up. They have been unwilling to acknowledge the destruction going on in their lives. They are in denial. They have not come to the point of taking responsibility for destructive behaviors, confessing their sins and getting help to walk in a new life of freedom. Christians, who refuse to shine the light on sin and refuse to lovingly, but firmly, confront the sinner, are colluding with them in their sin. We are helping them to destroy themselves and everything good in their lives. We are, in essence, "loving them to death"!

But we are not to condemn sinners. We are not to hate or shame them. We are to approach them with love and mercy but not to accept their excuses, justifications, denials, rationalizations, lies or assurances. If we really want to do the right thing, and God certainly wants us to do the right thing, then we will do the right thing. So be sure your own heart is submitted to God and  you are walking in love. But don't stand down and compromise either.

We can forgive others and Jesus calls us to forgive others. This shows love. It means not to rehearse the offense over and over again in your head or in your conversations. It means not to wish evil on anyone but to let God handle the other person. You release it to God and you go on. You may have to give up all thoughts of what's fair for you; your idea of justice; your "rights"; your desire for revenge. You let it go and let God be responsible for all that. This kind of forgiveness does not shut it's eyes to those habitual sinners who are practising and embracing their sin. God has told us in His Word what is sin and what is not. I'm not judging someone when I say homosexuality is wrong. God already told us it was wrong. God told us in His Word that gossip is sin and stealing is sin too. I believe what the Bible says and sin is sin. But, I must also recognize my sin is just like their sin. So I have to have a heart of humility, mercy and understanding towards other sinners because I'm just like them. Forgiveness doesn't mean we overlook the sin and walk in denial. It means we recognize the sin for what it really is and we forgive someone because we are sinners too.

Godly wisdom, given to us from God, means we can walk the balance of love, mercy and forgiveness along with love, discipline and reality. I can love and forgive a person but I don't have to agree with their sin and I can confront and use proper discipline. It may mean getting out of relationship with a toxic person who is still refusing to face their sin and repent. This could be temporary or long term, depending on the sinner. It may mean getting law enforcement involved. It may mean rehab. It may mean helping them get back on their feet. It may mean excluding them from fellowship in the church. God can give you the wisdom to know what is best to do.

There are families who face this every day! They have family members whom they love, but who are practising sins that are destroying their lives. Whether it's drugs, alcohol abuse, having babies out of wedlock, bullies, thieves, drug dealers.... spouses, parents and adult children are stuck with trying to walk this balance every day. How much is "love covers sins" and forgiving and how much is "enough is enough" and using discipline. Do you forgive and extend mercy or are you just letting them get away with it? Are you aiding and abetting or loving them? Are you becoming co-dependent or are you depending on God? Are you putting your foot down and confronting them or are you freeing them from responsibility so they can continue in their self destructive ways?

I cannot tell you because each of you are in your own situations. Only God knows where the balance is in your situation. God knows you and your loved one and He knows what is right, when it's right and how to do what's right. This means you have to be on your face with Him on a daily basis. Praying for your loved one, praying for godly wisdom, praying for help for yourself, your family and your loved one. Stay in the Word and pray. Talking to Christian counselors can help. It's very important for you to stay balanced yourself or you can go crazy. Do not accept blame for things you didn't do, think or feel. But do not be in denial about your own sins either.

Realize we are going to be struggling with our own weaknesses in the middle of their drama. Let's say our weakness is anger and their weakness is alcoholism. You can see how one would feed the other. So keep up the struggle against your own sins.

Love covers sins by forgiving. By being merciful. By wanting the best for the other person. By giving up our own desires and need for being right. Love doesn't gossip about sinners. Love doesn't tear down a sinner to other people by gossiping or slandering. Love doesn't rehearse offenses by obsessively talking about it to everyone or running it over and over again in our minds. Love releases offenses to God. Love is not in denial, nor does it endanger others by not confronting the sinner. Love is a peacemaker but also a firm, but kind, confronter.

  • Have you ever seen someone stirring up trouble? Whether it's a personal example or one you've seen in the news, journal about it. It's scary.
  • Have you ever seen someone cover an offense with love? Whether it's a personal example or one you've seen in the news, journal about it. It's inspiring.
  • I'm sure you've faced your own situations where you aren't sure where the balance is. Write it out and then take it to God in prayer.
  • Do you need to forgive someone? Ask God to help you forgive and release it to Him. It's a supernatural thing, and it may take some time, but if you want to obey God and forgive, He will help you.
  • As you were reading this, did God point out some things that you need to address in yourself? Have you carried a grudge? Have you been self righteous and demanded what you thought was right, refusing to let God handle it? Have you ever rehearsed an offense over and over again? Have you become co-dependent to someone else's sin? Have you felt God tell you to stop enabling but you kept on? Have you been too harsh because of anger issues? Have confrontations turned into shouting matches and curses instead of the loving firmness you meant to exhibit? Have you refused to accept someone who has changed because of pride or self righteousness? Whatever God has shown you, now is the time to repent and ask His forgiveness. He loves you and is lovingly showing you an area that He needs to cleanse and heal.
  • Have you ever been the recipient of God's forgiveness, mercy and love? Then you know how freeing and joyous it is! Praise Him for it! If not, you are missing out on what Jesus can do for you.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Proverbs 10:11

Proverbs 10:11 (KJV) The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Proverbs 10:11 (NIV) The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Proverbs 10:11 (NLT) The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain;
the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.

Supporting Scripture
Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.

Ecclesiastes 10:12-14
12 The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool consume him. 13 The beginning of his talk is folly, and the end of his speech is evil madness. 14 Yet the fool multiplies words. No one knows what is coming, and who can tell him what will come after him?

Matthew 12:33-37 33 Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of his good store of treasure, and the evil man brings evil things out of his evil store of treasure. 36 But I tell you that men will give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

"The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain". Jesus says our heart is the source from which our mouth speaks. It's like a glass of water. If you keep pouring in water, the water will eventually overflow and water comes out. If you are filling your glass with tea, and you keep pouring it in, it will eventually overflow and tea comes out. Where does the heart get it's source? Something has to fill the heart in order for it to be filled and overflowing through the mouth. Christians depend on God as the source for what's in their heart.

We have trusted in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Savior. Therefore, we are born again and the Holy Spirit indwells within us.

John 6:37-39 (NLT) 37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

Water comes from rain or natural springs, given by God. God is the source of water on this earth and water is needed to keep us alive.

Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

In Genesis God's Spirit is "hovering over the surface of the waters". This is before God has created our heaven and earth! In the days of creation He creates light and then He divides the waters so that there was water above our earth hemisphere and water below, on the earth itself. Then He gathered the water on earth so that dry land appeared. Now He's ready to create the heavens, plants, animals, birds, bugs, fish, and finally mankind!

Let's look at what Genesis says about how the earth was watered.

Genesis 2:5-6 5 Now no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth, nor had any plant of the field sprouted; for the LORD God had not yet sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground. 6 But springs welled up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.

Did you notice that? No rain! Before The Great Flood of Noah's time, there was no rain. God watered the earth with mist. I firmly believe that the waters divided in Genesis 1:6-8 meant there was some type of canopy of water around the earth. Maybe an ice canopy? This canopy protected the earth much like a greenhouse. And God watered the earth by vapor, mists, condensation. At the time of The Great Flood, it rained for the first time. I believe this means that the water canopy crashed to earth. We still have the protective ozone layer but we don't have that water canopy any more.

Genesis 7:11-12;17-24 (NIV) 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights... 17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. 24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

The water canopy fell down to earth in a rain that we've never seen the like before or since! We've seen rain and heavy storms but nothing like the millions of gallons of water that fell from the water canopy! It's how the whole earth was covered, even the highest mountains. We aren't talking about a flood like we see today. As horrible as that is, it's in one geographical location, not the whole earth.

Anyway, back to water... God is the source of all water. He created it. He controls it. He waters the earth when He sees fit. When Christ talks of the Living Water He means God is the source. God controls it. So we get our living water only from God. We cannot believe in Buddha and expect the living water of God to flow into our hearts and out of our mouths. We cannot worship Money and expect the living water of God to flow into our hearts and out of our mouths.

Water is a precious commodity and without it we die. In some places of our world, we tend to take water for granted. It's plentiful. I'm spoiled and expect to get clean drinking water by just turning on the tap in my kitchen. But it takes a lot of work and technology to get clean drinking water through to every household so that it comes conveniently where we need it. We just forget all that and go fill a glass of water. But there are places of desert where water is scarce and people who live there value water above all other things. Some people have to hoard and ration out water carefully in order to sustain their life. The people in Israel understood that because they lived in, or close by, barren wilderness areas. They would dig wells for water, congregate near water sources, build cisterns to collect water. Back in those days, they didn't have indoor plumbing and piping systems. They had to go to their water source daily and draw buckets of water and carry that weight back home. The Woman At The Well was doing just this when Jesus Christ spoke to her in Samaria. He told her about Living Water.

John 4:4-26 4 Now He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Since Jacob’s well was there, Jesus, weary from His journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 “You are a Jew,” said the woman. “How can You ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman replied, “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where then will You get this living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water so that I will not get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are correct to say that you have no husband. 18 In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. You have spoken truthfully.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Believe Me, woman,” Jesus replied, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”
26 Jesus answered, “I who speak to you am He.”

For people to have water they have to depend on God. We may dig wells, build cisterns, draw water, irrigate crops, build wastewater systems, pipe water to places, build dams and water systems... But water comes solely based on God's providence. God sends the rain. Not human effort. God has chosen to make sure we know how dependent we are on His providence. Human effort doesn't make rain fall from the skies or produce water in deep springs.

We cannot save ourselves by our own human effort. It is an impossibility. So God blessed us with salvation by His efforts. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came down to this earth like rain comes down from God. He did all that was needed to save us. It is only through Him we can be saved. He is Living Water. When we accept this, God sends His Holy Spirit to indwell within us like a secret inner spring of Living Water. It is God initiated. It is God provided. It is God controlled. We are recipients of His blessed poured out LOVE! Our hearts were dry, dead, thirsty land and God poured out the Living Water to save us!

Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Isaiah 35:1-7 1 The wilderness and the land will be glad;
the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose.
2 It will bloom profusely
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the limp hands
and steady the feeble knees!
4 Say to those with anxious hearts:
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance.
With divine retribution He will come to save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then the lame will leap like a deer
and the mute tongue will shout for joy.
For waters will gush forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert.
7 The parched ground will become a pool,
the thirsty land springs of water.
In the haunt where jackals once lay,
there will be grass and reeds and papyrus.

Isaiah 44:3–4 For I will pour out water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.

Our salvation through Jesus Christ means He, like rain, came to earth to bring eternal life to the seeds of faith that the Father planted in us when He created us. Those seeds are dead and dormant in the dry, hard ground of a dead heart until Jesus comes. The Holy Spirit works to water that seed so that life springs forth. Then the Holy Spirit indwells in us to bring the water of the Word and give us godly wisdom.

Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 26 to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless.

When the true knowledge of God awakens in us, the Living Water in the form of the Holy Spirit, begins teaching us, training and empowering us. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God can help us to know God and His Will and Ways. It is godly wisdom pouring into us.

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

Psalm 36:9 "You [God] give them to drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life."

Our righteousness is based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God continue to pour into us God's knowledge and wisdom. We can have the Living Water flowing into us and from this source, it overflows through our mouth.

The only thing we have to do is be willing and eager recipients of eternal life and godly wisdom! Remember, we are not factories making righteousness. We cannot. Our own efforts do not make us righteous. But we are vessels in which God's righteousness is shown and poured out. It takes a relationship with God. We must live on the outpouring and abundance of God, dependent upon Him, in order to have that flowing Living Water that then comes out of our mouths. It is not by human effort but by His grace.

"To live in God, to feed on God, and drink from God, and fellowship with God, learn all your wisdom from God, and fear to forsake God." - John Piper, 9/1/1991, DesiringGod.org

The more time we spend in relationship with God, the deeper and fresher the Living Water is and thus it naturally will overflow through our mouths. Sometimes we dam up the water. We, in essence, are hoarding it. It is flowing into us but we aren't sharing it through words and actions. We need the flow to always be fresh so we need daily contact with our God. We need fresh Word, and dialogue (prayer) with God. As our spirits grow and mature the more Living Water we should have and thus, the more comes out of our mouth and our actions.

Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Read Ezekiel 47. In the natural, water burst forth in torrents and slows down to a trickle the farther you get from the source. In Ezekiel 47, the Living Water does the opposite. It begins as a trickle and grows in volume and depth as it gets farther from the source. This is often used to indicate how the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Disciples after the ascension of Jesus Christ. And as they poured out the Gospel, more and more people were saved into the kingdom of God. It can also be used as an analogy of our spiritual life from beginning to maturity. Meditate on that and journal about it.
What condition is our heart before the Holy Spirit waters the seed of faith? What does it take from us
to get the Living Water to our seed of faith?
Once we are saved, who comes to dwell within us?
It is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to teach, train and empower us to know God. How do we cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word so that Living Water flows fresh and current into our heart?
Who is the source of Living Water?
As we are filled with Living Water, what happens? Where does it go?
Write the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34-35.
What is coming out of your mouth? Is it an overflow of Living Water or bitter dust? Are your words encouraging, full of faith in God, directing others to Jesus, edifying, full of godly wisdom, exhibiting love, plans of hope and a future? Or are your words discouraging, depressing, bitter, critical, directing others to hopelessness and evil; plans of harm and destruction? Remember, instead of trying to manufacture "Living Water" you have to position yourself as a vessel to receive Living Water and it will naturally overflow.

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Proverbs 10:9-10

Proverbs 10:9-10 (KJV) 9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

Proverbs 10:9-10 (NIV) 9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
10 Whoever winks maliciously causes grief,
and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Proverbs 10:9-10 (NLT) 9 People with integrity walk safely,
but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.
10 People who wink at wrong cause trouble,
but a bold reproof promotes peace.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
in integrity - בַּ֭תֹּם (bat·tōm) - Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8537: Completeness, integrity, also part of the high priest's breastplate

but he who perverts - וּמְעַקֵּ֥שׁ (ū·mə·‘aq·qêš) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6140: To knot, distort, to pervert

He who winks - קֹ֣רֵֽץ‪‬ (qō·rêṣ) - Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7169: To pinch, to bite the lips, blink the eyes, to squeeze off

grief - עַצָּ֑בֶת (‘aṣ·ṣā·ḇeṯ) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6094: A idol, a pain, wound

Integrity - honesty, honor, showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values; doing the right thing in all circumstances; the state of being whole and undivided, complete.

A person who walks simply, with integrity, honesty, transparency, has nothing to fear. They have nothing to hide and are innocent. They can walk confidently knowing they are innocent and their Father God is in control. Innocence and faith.

God would have us to be "wise as serpents but innocent as doves" (Matthew 10:16). We are to grow in the spirit, mature, and gain godly wisdom. But we are not to grow in evil. We have to know about evil in order to be wise. But not to grow ever more crafty, evil, wicked and sly ourselves.

Mark 10:14-16 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them.

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.

Romans 16:19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.

Ephesians 4:11-15 11 And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ Himself, who is the head.

"He that perverteth his ways shall be known. He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow."

He who "walks perversely, or frowardly, or in crooked and sinful paths; that dealeth hypocritically and deceitfully with God, or with men, using all possible crafts to conceal his wickedness." - Matthew Poole's Commentary

In Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Simon Legree is a cruel slave owner—a Northerner by birth—whose name has become synonymous with greed and evil. His goal is to break his slave, Tom, from his faith in God. He is a character who is brutal, hateful and his wickedness grows in the book to become demonic and infernal. He is the epitome of an evil human being; a personification of evil; perfect example or type of wickedness. In fact, the term "Simon Legree" made everyone immediately think of a heinous villain. Even cartoon villains were often portrayed as Simon Legrees... greedy, sneaky, evil, heartless, always planning evil to win. Remember Dick Dastardly and his dog, Muttley?

Mr. Burns on The Simpsons sings about all the villains, mentioning Simon Legree.

Darkwing Duck's villain, Negaduck

Cartoons make these villains funny which is not the case in real life. But you do get the message. A villain is one who thinks only of themselves. They are greedy and willing to do anything to get what they want no matter who it hurts. They are sly, conniving, scheming, cunning; always thinking up new ways to do evil and get away with it. If they are caught, the consequences don't make them quit doing evil. They just become more cunning and clever at concealing their evil. Some people become so hardened to evil that they enjoy and delight in doing evil. It becomes their lifestyle and they love learning new ways to outwit their victims. They laugh about it. They brag about it. They get delight in coming up with new ways to steal, kill and destroy. They think of themselves as being so smart and they feel such pride in what they do to harm other people.

I've read about sexual perverts who carry "rape kits". They plan ahead for what they need to kidnap, rape, torture and murder victims. They hunt their victims. They have planned places to take their victims and then how to dispose of bodies. I've seen on reality TV shows people who create and develop big plans and then begin to recruit helpers. They rehearse the plans and develop failsafes. They are willing to kill anyone who gets in their way. They develop contacts so they have people in place to receive their stolen goods whether it's money, drugs, human trafficking, human organs, stolen artwork, jewels, etc. They become very accomplished at evil. I've seen television shows on how people have planned to commit murder for a variety of reasons. It's cold, calculating evil. They want to kill someone for life insurance money, for inheritance, to get rid of a spouse, or just for pure hate. They will come up with all kinds of plans to get away with murder.

But, the reason why most of these reality TV shows are on television is because they didn't get away with it! They were caught and now their evil is revealed for what it is. Many criminals started out with relatively minor offenses but they kept growing in evil and in the knowledge of evil until they are finally caught for major offenses and they are in jail for life or until they are executed.

But, even if you are never caught... God knows exactly what you are doing and you cannot escape Him. Do you really think because you haven't gone to jail for your evil that you got away with it? Do you really think because your spouse hasn't figured it out yet, you've gotten away with it? Do you really think because your friends, neighbors and church friends haven't figured it out that God doesn't know?

Luke 12:1-5 1 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be a on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

Psalm 139:1-4,11-12 1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely...
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Jeremiah 16:17 For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my face, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”

1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

Job 11:11 For he knows those who are worthless, and he sees iniquity without investigating.

If you are caught doing evil, see it as God's mercy and love. He is trying to turn your heart from evil and to Jesus Christ. You can repent and walk in a new life with Christ!

But for many who are caught in their sins, they just try to figure out new ways to run after their sin without getting caught. They don't repent. They don't want to change. They want to sin and get away with it.

Again, if you think you are getting away with it, you are sadly mistaken because God knows all. You can lie, hide, become clever and sneaky, but God is not fooled. You may fool your family. You may fool law enforcement. You may fool a judge. But you cannot fool God. You should be very afraid.

  • "Whoever walks in integrity walks securely". Write down the definition of integrity in your own words.
  • A Christian should be wise as ___________ and innocent as __________.
  • Which one of the scriptures that I listed above, about Christians being innocent but wise, spoke to you and why?
  • When we were discussing cartoon villains who mimic Simon Legree, did one come to your mind? Why was he a villain? Can you describe the cartoon villain in your own words?
  • Can you think of a real life example of an evil person?  Have they grown in their evil? Do you think they can be saved? If they are still breathing, there is a chance that the Holy Spirit can get through the hardness of their heart. Man may give up on someone but God never gives up. But, many will reject Jesus with their last breath, they have hardened their heart so much that the Holy Spirit cannot get through.
  • Do you believe that Jesus Christ can forgive and save even the most heinous villain, the worst criminal?
  • Has someone done something so evil to you that you don't feel like you can forgive them and you hope they go to hell? Have you even uttered that phrase over someone? I am not here to judge you. I'm as human as you are and I might have just as hard a time seeing a truly evil person forgiven and saved as you do. But if we say someone cannot be saved are we not saying Jesus Christ's work on the cross is limited? If His work doesn't cover all sin, are we saying He can't save? What does that mean for us? We are sinners. Can Jesus not save us? If He can save us, cannot His saving grace cover even the worst of sinners?
  • The only unforgivable sin is the one of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior;  His free offer of salvation. It is a person's choice whether or not to receive Jesus as Savior and to experience forgiveness and freedom from sin. What stops people from accepting Jesus?
  • Which one of the verses above hit you right between the eyes concerning God's knowledge of all that we do? Write it down here and thank God for His omniscient (all-knowing) attribute. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows each of us, saint and sinner, and still loves us and is always desiring us. Knowing us in our sin, He still loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. Praise the all-knowing God!!!!

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Proverbs 10:8

Proverbs 10:8 (KJV) The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

Proverbs 10:8 (NIV) The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Proverbs 10:8 (NLT) The wise are glad to be instructed,
but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

A wise person is one who loves to learn and appreciates those with knowledge. They want to take advantage of education to learn. A fool can memorize something but that does not mean they have wisdom. It means they memorized something. A wise person will take what they learn and use discernment and understanding to put 2+2 together. But the wise person realizes when they don't have the education they need in a subject. For instance, I know I don't have the education to be a medical doctor. Therefore, when I am sick, I go to someone who has a medical degree and I listen to the doctor. I appreciate my doctor's education, experience and knowledge.

But some people think they know everything and refuse to acknowledge that others have information, advice and wisdom they can take advantage of and learn from. I think of teenagers who seem to go through a stage where they are so sure they know it all. They aren't about to listen to Grandpa, or Mom or Teacher. They already know it all and "quit treating me like a child!" Of course, when they say that, it's an alert to the parent that said child is not so mature as they think they are. An adult would say, "Thank you, Mother, I'll take that into consideration"; or, "Thank you, Grandpa, I hadn't even thought of that. You are right and I was wrong." I wonder how many times my Mother and Father had to bite their tongues when I talked like a fool as a teenager and young adult? My parents were really good. They listened and asked questions and made suggestions but they didn't make me feel like a fool. That shows their maturity and wisdom. Now I look back and wonder how they tolerated me, LOL!

None of us come into this world knowing everything. We have to learn. We need education. We need to be led until we can truly think deeper than 30 seconds. A toddler can't think beyond a minute. As the child grows they are able to think and focus for longer times but they need help in learning depth of thought. A 10 yr old may think all the President of the United States has to do is print more money and make everybody rich. That's simplistic, flat thinking. Someone has to show them how to think more indepth. Just printing more money would destroy the economy and end up in worldwide chaos but they can't see it at first. It's why teachers of older children, pre-teens, and teenagers begin to task them with projects that require research, analysis and conclusions.

Unfortunately many young people today can become adults without learning how to think indepth on a subject. They don't know what they are talking about and are still flat thinkers. They never learned how to research, see cause and effect and develop reasoned conclusions. They still think all you have to do is print more money!

What is frightening is even young people who have gone to college are still coming out of college without an ability to think beyond an initial thought and yet, these children, in adult bodies think they know everything and are allowed to vote! And, in the case of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have become an elected leader. She is a Representative for New York's 14th district in Washington, DC. And it sounds like she doesn't know the first thing about how U.S. government works! She has shown no deference or respect for the elders in the Democratic Party leadership in Washington, DC (which may be a good thing because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer would teach her all about how to be another corrupt politician). As soon as she won, she began running her mouth and hasn't stopped. Her petticoats are showing! I.e. her ignorance is showing but she won't be quiet long enough to learn something and get a grip on reality.

Prating - to talk excessively and pointlessly; babble; to talk stupidly, or about things that are not important, for a long time.

A prating fool.

This would be funny if it weren't serious. But she's not the only one so it's rather frightening!

A wise person would realize when they are lacking in information and would seek it out. They would listen to others and take into consideration other points of view. They would appreciate and respect those who could teach them a thing or two. A know-it-all is not wise but a "babbling fool". They never listen to others. They refuse to take instruction because they want to be in charge!

I found this hilarious snip of video from the Carol Burnett Show. A man, Tim Conway, comes in for a haircut. He just wants a trim. But the hairstylist, Carol Burnett, won't stop talking and babbling along and won't listen to a word he says.

  • Have you gotten to an age where you can look back and realize you thought and said some pretty silly things when you were young?
  • Did you ever feel like you knew better and were smarter than your elders?
  • Have you experienced a time when you learned something `and realized you had been wrong? How did you react? Were you able to accept you were wrong or did your pride get in the way and you kept insisting you were right?
  • What role does pride have in this proverb?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

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