Insights from Proverbs 21


Insights from Proverbs 21 for the 21st:

Of all the tasty treats that Solomon prepares for us in Proverbs 21 (and there are plenty!), it might surprise you that I’ve picked only one to discuss and which one. Verse 30:

“There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord.”

This is a vital truth to pass on to the youth. They are bombarded by counter-Biblical sentiments on a daily basis through entertainment and the media. This systematic dismantling is even more aggressive in college.

The Holy Spirit guided the wisest man ever to say that no matter how intelligent a person or establishment, if it’s against the Lord – it will not stand.

Now more than ever, we need to communicate the truth to our youth!

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Insights from Proverbs 20

knocked off your high horse

Insights from Proverbs 20 for the 20th:

This is probably not going to be very popular, but it ain’t wrong either…

Verse 1 is a warning about strong drink. Solomon calls it a mocker and a brawler. Being led by the bottle is not wise. We’ve all seen (or done) things under the influence that would not have been seen (or done) had it not been for that drink! Think of all the mistakes, accidents, & fights that could be erased if alcohol were not involved.

Solomon then drops a barrage of truth-bombs:

  • Don’t provoke,
  • Don’t fight,
  • Don’t be lazy,
  • and Don’t cheat (mentioned twice!).

But also – don’t worry, Verse 9 says nobody’s perfect. Can I get an Amen?

How about this one: don’t gossip or go around blabbing! If someone begins a conversation by looking around, lowering their voice, and then saying “Well, they told me not to tell, but…” – Look out, man.

20’s modern translation = Treat yo mama with respect.

29a. If you’re young, your glory is in your strength (ambition & endurance).

29b. If you’re old, your splendor is in your gray hair (experience & wisdom).

29c. Hey, what if you are in the middle: Still strong, but also getting gray? ūüôā

The last verse says every once in awhile life is going to give you a pretty solid beat down. But that’s OK; it builds character. Sure, it hurts – but it also removes evil. It knocks us off our high horse when we get too big for our britches. Haven’t you ever watched a kid who was misbehaving & thought, “You know what that kid needs? That kid needs a good… some discipline.” Come on now. Be honest. Its like that.

Like I said: not popular, but not wrong either.

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Insights from Proverbs 19

bowing

Insights from Proverbs 19 for the 19th:

I love verse 22: “What is desired in a man is kindness,” isn’t that about the truth? If kindness is present, so many other things will be too; compassion, mercy, and empathy. Its hard to be kind and¬†a jerk¬†at the same time.

The overwhelming theme of Proverbs 19 is retribution; evil will not go unpunished. Although it may appear that the wicked succeed, it only appears that way. God will repay all and justice will come. If not in this world, then in the one to come (Heb. 9:27).

This is a comforting promise. A common question/objection I get is why do bad things happen to good people and good things happen to the bad? The rich get richer & the poor get poorer.

Well, first of all; nobody is¬†“good.” We are all bad (Rom. 3:23). Yes, even you. EVERYONE is¬†in need of a Savior. If not, God made a colossal blunder in offering His Son to die on Calvary and God is not in the blunder-making business (Gal. 2:21).

Second of all, things aren’t always what they seem. No one knows what goes on behind closed doors except those who live there. Success is measured in way more than dollars.

Lastly, God has the final say. He is just and His ruling will be nothing but (Psa. 25:8). We will be totally satisfied in His perfect verdict.

“The fear of the Lord leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction,” (v.23).

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of understanding (Psa. 9:10). Without that fear, one cannot even BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND! It leads to life. That fear is reverential.

We bow in awe for God is awesome.

The closer you get to God, the more aware you are of His much-ness and your little-ness. That is not a crippling awareness; it is a comforting one. Abide in it and you will be fully satisfied. Reject it and you will be forever starving.

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Insights from Proverbs 18

strong tower

Insights from Proverbs 18 for the 18th:

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it & are safe (v.10).”

I have become increasingly sensitive to taking the Lord’s name in vain. Our culture is so flippant with OMG. Its like nails on a chalkboard to me. The name of the Lord is important. It’s a strong tower. We run to it. It protects it. Let us not become callous to it’s misuse.

“Death & life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit (v.21).”

We can speak life or speak death. That is tremendous power. More than we know. Be extremely cautious with that responsibility.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord (v.22).”

A good thing is a God thing. Robert Morris tells¬†the story of a man who called his wife, “Good thing.” She was his good thing from¬†the Lord. If you have found your good thing, thank the Lord & do your best to let her know how much you appreciate her. If you’ve yet to find your good thing, serve the Lord until you do. Then serve the Lord together.

My Good thing is the best thing that ever happened to me.

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Insights from Proverbs 17

hot-n-ready

Insights from Proverbs 17 for the 17th:

Proverbs 17¬†has a pulse to it. It beats like the heart of one who’s wronged and who’s also been wronged. That about includes us all, doesn’t it?

Solomon draws a clear line in the sand. Anyone who: mocks the poor, listens to lies, seeks only rebellion, rewards evil for good, justifies the wicked, condemns the just, loves transgression, punishes the righteous, or hits those who stand for uprightness are obviously on the wrong side of the ethical divide.

Multiple times he mentions a wayward child causing shame & sorrow (v. 2, 21, & 25), but there is also a¬†tender counter verse about grandchildren being a man’s crown & the father being the glory of their children (6).

We know that there are¬†3 BIG M’s which require our constant diligence: Our Mind, Money,¬†& Mouth. Proverbs 17 has 7 blatant warnings about that tricky little dictator; our¬†mouth (v. 4, 7, 9, 10, 20, & 27-28). My favorite are the last two which basically say that if you¬†have nothing smart to say, its smart to say nothing! ZIP IT!

Let me give verse¬†one a contemporary spin: Better is a Hot-n-Ready with no drama, than¬†caviar & champagne¬†with a hot mess. Man, I have like zero tolerance for those reality shows with the filthy rich just being totally ridiculous. Why is this on TV? Why not follow some people around who are actually doing good in this world?¬†Solomon’s point is just because they have nicer stuff, doesn’t mean they have a nicer life. Mo money, mo problems.

Ever see a dam holding back all that water? Imagine seeing a little crack with water springing out: that’s the beginning of a fight. Patch it early before¬†it all¬†comes crashing down & floods everything (v. 14).

Ever watch Band of Brothers? That’s verse 17.

Your thoughts affect your body. Make them merry or it will literally rot you from the inside out (v. 22).

Proverbs suddenly seems awfully relevant, doesn’t it? That’s because God’s truth never changes even though our culture does.

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Insights from Proverbs 15 & 16

Insights from Proverbs 15 & 16 for the 15th & the 16th:

Reading over chapters 15 & 16, I kept thinking… well, #1. I can’t summarize this and do it justice and #3. I would be robbing people by doing so. But also #2: Why don’t they use Proverbs for like… I don’t know: job training, or a requirement for graduation in¬†High School, or part of the citizenship process? I know that’s far-fetched, but if people actually knew these verses and applied them – our country would be safer, smarter, and more compassionate.

Its just basic steps on How to be a Hero and not a Villain.

If we took Proverbs to heart, we would be a nation of more wise co-workers, students, and parents. A nation of more compassionate leaders, laborers, and decision-makers. A nation of more better human beings. I know that is not proper English, but you know what I mean; We would all be more better.

I do want to point out a couple of verses:

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.” – 15:3

This verse gives me deep peace.

“A man‚Äôs heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” – 16:9

I have this verse written on a Post-It on my computer. I read it every single day.

“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” – 16:18

A constant reminder to Check yo’self before you Wreck yo’self.

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” – 16:24

Words have the power to heal or hurt, how are you using yours?

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.” – 16:31

That’s right; as one who is getting more & more gray hair every day: I CLAIM THIS VERSE IN JESUS NAME!

ūüôā

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Insights from Proverbs 14

bug-zapper

Insights from Proverbs 14 for the 14th:

Although Solomon jam-packs this Proverb with mighty Kingdom truth-bombs:

  • happiness is mercy to the poor (v. 21),
  • loose lips sink ships (paraphrase of v. 23),
  • and¬†envy rots the bones (v.30)…

I’m just going to¬†laser-focus in on one. But its colossal. Man, its like King Kong and Godzilla all wrapped in one. You know its legit when Holy Spirit mentions it¬†twice (16:25).

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (v. 12).”

What is Solomon talking about when he says “a way?”¬†Does he¬†mean a religion?¬†Does he¬†mean one’s own conscience? What he means is:¬†anything not governed by Jesus.

There are many very smart people who think they know better than the Bible. Of course, that begs the question: Just how smart can they actually be then, right? (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).¬†They have elevated their own intellect above that of Moses, Noah, Abraham, Solomon, Paul, or John. That’s called pride and it’s the devil’s #1 favorite bazooka to fire.

Here’s the diabolical kicker; this way seems right to them! They don’t think they are “bad” or¬†that it’s¬†“bad.” No, they think its good! And it may very well be “good” (in the sense of morality and humanitarian altruism), but it is not good in the sense of TRUTH (Isa. 64:6).

If it’s not in, through, from, or for Jesus Christ, then it’s end (no matter how snazzy or¬†sophisticated) is death. (Col. 1:17; Rom. 11:36; Heb. 1:3).

How’s this for imagery; bug zappers. That blue light is mesmerizing to bugs. They love it. They think its awesome. They want it!¬†It “seems¬†right.” But, ZAP! It’s actually electric death.

This truth is a Monster of a truth. It is big and scary.

Many will fall because they are following a way that seems right to them, but is actually a lie. Whether it be a false religion or a false reliance in their own morality, the end is the same.

The devil is the master of deception. He has them convinced that they are believing the exact opposite of the actual thing.

  • Pray for their enlightenment! Its a wide gate!
  • Pray for their reconciliation! Its a broad road!
  • Pray for their awakening! Many enter through it!
  • Pray for more time for them to answer Jesus’s knocking.

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