Archive | August, 2011

Proverbs 31:10-31 – The Good Wife

August 31, 2011

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The Good Wife

10 It is hard to find a good wife,
because she is worth more than rubies.
11 Her husband trusts her completely.
With her, he has everything he needs.
12 She does him good and not harm
for as long as she lives.
13 She looks for wool and flax
and likes to work with her hands.
14 She is like a trader’s ship,
bringing food from far away.
15 She gets up while it is still dark
and prepares food for her family
and feeds her servant girls.
16 She inspects a field and buys it.
With money she earned, she plants a vineyard.
17 She does her work with energy,
and her arms are strong.
18 She knows that what she makes is good.
Her lamp burns late into the night.
19 She makes thread with her hands
and weaves her own cloth.
20 She welcomes the poor
and helps the needy.
21 She does not worry about her family when it snows,
because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm.
22 She makes coverings for herself;
her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material.
23 Her husband is known at the city meetings,
where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land.
24 She makes linen clothes and sells them
and provides belts to the merchants.
25 She is strong and is respected by the people.
She looks forward to the future with joy.
26 She speaks wise words
and teaches others to be kind.
27 She watches over her family
and never wastes her time.
28 Her children speak well of her.
Her husband also praises her,
29 saying, “There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.”
30 Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you,
but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned;
she should be praised in public for what she has done.– Proverbs 31:10-31 NCV

Like the women of Israel, the women of America that fit the Proverbs 31 description pioneered this land and made it the great country that it is. They were the responsible party for its growth, godliness, and family values. What a fitting tribute to great women after so many warnings against the ungodly kind throughout Proverbs!

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Proverbs 30:1-4 – Admit It

August 30, 2011

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1 These are the words of Agur son of Jakeh.
This is his message to Ithiel and Ucal:
2 “I am the most stupid person there is,
and I have no understanding.
3 I have not learned to be wise,
and I don’t know much about God, the Holy One.
4 Who has gone up to heaven and come back down?
Who can hold the wind in his hand?
Who can gather up the waters in his coat?
Who has set in place the ends of the earth?
What is his name or his son’s name?
Tell me, if you know! 
–Proverbs 30:1-4 NCV

The writer sets an example of the humility we need to have in God’s presence. Contrast his admission of ignorance with the pride and arrogance of the average person today. Just as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:2, We are only at the beginning of the things there are to know about God.

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Proverbs 26 – Foolish Response

August 26, 2011

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4 Don’t answer fools when they speak foolishly, or you will be just like them.
5 Answer fools when they speak foolishly, or they will think they are really wise.
Proverbs 26:4-5

This seemingly contradictory couplet reminds us to look at every situation by its own merit before applying our wisdom to it. Sometimes a situation can be dangerous if left unaddressed. Sometimes a situation is nothing but a waste of time if you engage in it.

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Proverbs 25:28 – Have Self Control

August 25, 2011

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Those who do not control themselves are like a city whose walls are broken down. – Proverbs 25:28 NCV

This is a reference to self-control – A lack of discipline exposes one to all the problems the problems of life the same way an unprotected city was open to being sacked. The Proverb writer placed a lot of importance on rearing children with boundaries, this saying being the results of failing to do so.

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Proverbs 23:29-35 – An Alcoholic’s Song

August 23, 2011

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29 Who has trouble? Who has pain?
Who fights? Who complains?
Who has unnecessary bruises?
Who has bloodshot eyes?
30 It is people who drink too much wine,
who try out all different kinds of strong drinks.
31 Don’t stare at the wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup,
when it goes down smoothly.
32 Later it bites like a snake
with poison in its fangs.
33 Your eyes will see strange sights,
and your mind will be confused.
34 You will feel dizzy as if you’re in a storm on the ocean,
as if you’re on top of a ship’s sails.
35 You will think, “They hit me, but I’m not hurt.
They beat me up, but I don’t remember it.
I wish I could wake up.
Then I would get another drink.” –Proverbs 23:29-35 NCV

Alcohol is poison – Don’t touch it. The “disease” of alcoholism was never caught by someone that never took a drink.

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Proverbs 21:23 – Shhh

August 22, 2011

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Those who are careful about what they say keep themselves out of trouble. – Proverbs 21:23 NCV

The tongue is a very powerful tool. James 3:3-5 tells us it equal to a horseman’s bit or a ship’s rudder. It literally can change the direction of the world:

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies.4 Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants.5 It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things. – NCV

One of my kid’s three rules that we went over each morning before school was to keep his mouth closed during class. I’m not sure that I ever mentioned that this was Solomon’s advice too.

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Proverbs 20:27 – Lamp of God

August 20, 2011

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The Lord looks deep inside people and searches through their thoughts. – Proverbs 20:27 NCV

The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, Searching all his innermost parts. – Proverbs 20:27 ASV

I include the NCV rendering of this verse for consistency with the rest of the articles on this blog, but the ASV is closer to the original language. The Spirit read here is the same “breath of life” given to Adam in Genesis 2:7. It is our soul, our consciousness, the intrinsic knowledge that God is in us.

Philosophers from the beginning have reasoned correctly that there is a God – even before they were introduced to Him. Those who have reasoned against God’s existence were never truly happy or settled in this life. That is our spirit at work.

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Proverbs 19:14 – My Wife

August 19, 2011

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Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a wise wife is a gift from the Lord. – Proverbs 19:14 NCV

The wife I was blessed with could have only come from God.

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Proverbs 15:14 – Fertile Fields

August 15, 2011

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People with understanding want more knowledge, but fools just want more foolishness. – Proverbs 15:14 NCV

This Proverb reminds me of the idea of the mind being like a fertile field that will return anything you plant in it. If you plant corn you get corn, if you plant nightshade, you get a deadly poison. You can’t get something from the harvest you did not plant. You cannot harvest understanding from feeding the mind the foolishness we have access to today.

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