The Proverb For The Day

 

 

21:10, “The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.” As I watch the news I’m amazed at the evil portrayed daily. The wicked are using anything they can to destroy others. Wickedness is at an alarming rate and getting worse. It spans from world leaders boasting about killing, to individuals high jacking trucks, wearing body booms, mass shootings and whatever they can imagine causing fear and killing people. The wicked cannot rest without planning and wishing for some new evil thing. Nothing or no one is safe from evil activity. He does not look with pity on friend or neighbor, if they stand in the way of his desires; he will sacrifice any one, however closely connected, so that he may work his will. But one day God will put a stop to all this, judge and separate the godly from the evil forever. Hell will become the reality for evil men! Pastor Gary ><>

20:5, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” We sometimes describe people as "deep" or "shallow." John Phillips wrote, “The deep man is thoughtful, wise, and usually silent. Still waters, we say, run deep. Just as the deep waters of a well have to be drawn out, the deep man is often reserved. His acquaintances have to get to know him and learn how to draw out his thoughts. The thoughtless man, on the other hand, chatters like a brook that babbles to this pebble or that rolling stone. Both the brook and the shallow man can be heard from a distance.” People that really seek wise counsel should seek the heart of a wise man, he may not say much but when he does listen to him. Be careful about looking for people who always agree with you, they may not say what you need to hear right now. If you really want to know “draw it out” even if it hurts. Pastor Gary ><>

19:11, The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.” A Latin proverb says, “Anger is a short madness.” To avoid anger a man needs wisdom. We may not be able to avoid anger altogether but with wisdom we can temper it and wait for a more suitable time to speak and act. The older I get the more I find out that my mom and dad knew a lot of things I thought I kept secret. But really, they simple overlooked some of my transgressions not because they were powerless to do anything about them but because they were wise enough not to, and they trusted God’s plan for me too. It is the nature of anger to be sterner than the occasion demands. Therefore, it is to be expected that time for reaction will moderate it. Their wisdom is their glory (beauty) seen in their ability to let some things go or wait and gave us room to grow. Pastor Gary <><

18:5, It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, or to overthrow the righteous in judgment.” A prime example, former president Obama showing partiality to the gays and now their government imposed rights. Homosexuality is opposed by God, His Word and I as a Christian. And I realize that I am in a very small group. But what part of “It is not good to show partiality to the wicked” that you don’t understand? Obama can evolve, or anyone else for that matter in their way of thinking but sin will never be made right no matter how they think or what they change. The pressure seems always to be put on the Christian for his belief, but the breaker of God’s law is cheered on in his sin. It’s not a matter of coming out of the closet that makes one right, but rather one turning away from his sin to Jesus in belief (John 3:16). Please pray for the US. Pastor Gary ><>

17:13, “You will always have trouble if you are mean to those who are good to you.” Here we see the idea of ingratitude. You give one thing and in return you get something different, in fact the opposite. Evil for good is the transaction taking place. Trouble will always be the result of your transaction. Do you really expect something other than trouble? His doom is punishment from God, but by contrast how dear is gratitude to God. As evil shall ever be of the house of the dark rebel against light and evil, so shall joy and peace attend the steps of the peaceful child of God. The only way for something other than trouble to come your way is to return good for good. Be grateful for the good others do, and return good and your trouble will come to an end. Exchange good for Good, and even take the higher road and exchange good for evil! Stop being so mean! Pastor Gary <>< 

16:31, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” Silver hair is a crown either of shame or of honor. It’s a crown of shame if it is not found in the way of righteousness. A crown of shame is upon the head of old men that are still ignorant of truths he could have learned but refused to, or who is still addicted to dishonorable indulgences yet had plenty of time to overcome. And shame to be pitied is he that still refuses to come to God through faith in Jesus Christ. But the crown of honor is found by the way of righteousness. It’s upon the heads of men that have stayed faithful in times of difficulty, has overcome temptations to live holy, and has grown old in the service of God. It is a crown of beauty to the discerning eyes of some and always to the eyes of God! Silver hair is a crown; either of shame or of honor. Make it honor! Pastor Gary <><

15:24, “The way of life winds upward for the wise, that he may turn away from hell below.” The upward path is to love God with all your mind, heart, soul, and strength. It is to be always trusting God in earthly circumstances. It is also seeking His will through the course of common events whether good or bad! To be on the upward path is proof that you are dependent on God and following Him even during times of confusion. The path upward may be steep and painful at times, but at any rate it has this compensation, it leads away from death and destruction! With each temptation comes a choice, stay on the upward path or leave it for a course that leads to darkness! And consider this if you choose the wrong path, how many might follow you. The upward path is the right path stay on it and you won’t go or lead others wrong. Pastor Gary ><>

14:5, “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness will utter lies.” The truth we find here is obvious, but the problem is finding out which one is the liar. It’s important to distinguish between the two especially in a court of law where you need only faithful witnesses. Without faithful witnesses the wrong person could end up in jail and the guilty set free. The false witness’s testimony is worthless but only when you find out its false, until then someone could spend time for a crime they did not commit. It’s sad to say but false witnesses can always be bribed to tell a lie. They stand behind products that don’t work, in courts and swear on the Bible, and in congress making empty promises. But one day they will stand before “The Faithful Witness” (Rev.1:5) and their lies will be exposed and punished! Pastor Gary ><>

13:14-15, The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. Good understanding gains favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard.” The fountain of life is found through wisdom and revelation from God and He sees fit to reveal it. God always reveals Himself in such a way that men can “understand” and benefit if they choose to. The rules and teachings of wise men are a source of life for those who follow them, and by following, they avoid the snares of death. Obedience to wise teachings saves from many dangers, material and spiritual, especially from the snares of the devil (2 Tim.2:26). A second result of obedience is “favor”, as a wise man uses his grace gifts to help others he is made acceptable to God and men. But if men choose to be unfaithful they will face a rough and rugged way of life, which ends in death! Pastor Gary ><>

12:24, “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” The word “diligent” used here is for those that are strong and active. They are usually the ones that rise to the surface in their job, church, and community. People take note of them and recognize them as leaders. But laziness or slothfulness brings a person down. Laziness will always reduce a person to poverty and or forced labor. No one wants to put a lazy person in charge that’s just a fact of life. Laziness was never intended to be rewarded but our government has imposed a system that does just that. And many that are lazy are the beneficiaries of a broken-down system. Maybe if we forced them to labor before they received help the system could go back to helping those that truly have needs. Be diligent! Pastor Gary ><>

11:17, The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” Our great temptation is to look at all things in a selfish light, asking ourselves concerning each event, “How will it benefit me?” This is not the attitude of Christ; He is unselfish and generous towards others. To bear one another’s burdens is to fulfill His law and manifest His life. We would do well to consider the effect of our conduct in light of others, how are my actions being seen, am I building up or destroying those around me? Being unkind “troubles” my own flesh, even more harm to me than my victim. We will face the strong condemnation of men, the rebuke and penalty of God and it leaves its mark of insensitivity on our soul. But kindness is any form of mercy or goodness from the heart. Kindness allies us with the Lord, marks us as His child, and results in blessings (v.25). Pastor Gary ><>

10:29-30, “The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity. The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth.” The way of the Lord is the way in which He commands us to live and walk. And its obedience to His commands, “the upright” that He provides strength, and to those who neglect His way “destruction”. We can take this a step further “The righteousness will never be removed”, Paul wrote, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Tim.4:8). And Christ said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt.5:5), but the wicked will not. There will always be a great divide between the righteous and the wicked and the only way to join the righteous is faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor Gary ><>

9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” We may have all the advantages this world has to offer, but if all is not based on the “fear of the Lord” we are incomplete for it is the beginning of wisdom. Reverence, devotion, and obedience toward the Lord are what wisdom rest upon. Paul in the New Testament desired to know the Lord, why? Because knowledge leads to understanding which provides the conditions for spiritual growth, and true peace. Understanding is to    know how to act and react when men come against you. Also, you will have knowledge of the character of God, His holiness, eternal life, and the way to heaven. So many need to start back at the beginning, “fear the Lord.” When we begin right and stay right we will have opportunities to help others do right! “Fear the Lord!” Pastor Gary <><

8:35-36, For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death." Find everlasting life and miss death! It seems men are always looking for something that will satisfy, but never seem to find it. And it seems that each thing men find brings a different experience to their life, but not a life with God. The only way to find everlasting life is through faith in Jesus Christ, which is the greatest gift the Lord can give. New life is given, all my sins are forgiven, and heaven is my new home. But for those who will not believe in Jesus, they hate the Lord, wrong themselves, and love death. If we find the Lord we find everlasting life, and favor. But if we take a path that does not lead to the Lord we commit spiritual suicide. Those who seek the Lord will find Him, favor, and life. Seek Him today! Pastor Gary <><

7:22-23, “Immediately he went after her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, till an arrow struck his liver. As a bird hastens to the snare, He did not know it would cost his life.” The writer gives an example of a man overcome by temptation, but had he listened, he could have turned away! Temptation is intense feelings, a determined purpose, and exhaustive in images desirable to all of us. The text is for all, in every generation for young and old alike, but we act like it’s for everyone else. Every person is invited, and encouraged to live by wisdom. And every person who refuses to live by wisdom will find themselves in the same “trap” (V.12). I want to encourage you to read the chapter yourself, personally apply its truths, and avoid such a trap. She does not care about you, but the writer does, listen and follow him! Pastor Gary ><>

6:30-32, People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house. Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.” The starving man steals and must restore, but the adulterer destroys. The thief has a reasonable motive, but the adulterer has no such motive or reason for his sin. The adulterer in fact lacks reason or understanding acting with a brutish and stupid condition to which lust reduced him. Lust will always displace right reason! The following verses seem to indicate that it is the temporal and moral life referred to, but the meaning may be extended to embrace not only physical loss of life, but spiritual loss also!  All can find hope in Jesus no matter the sin (John 3:16). Pastor Gary ><>

5:7-10, Therefore hear me now, my children, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner.” To “hear” would be to avoid much, note the consequences! First, poverty (ver. 10), sin soon scatters a man's fortune. A few years, or even weeks, will suffice for indulgence to run through a good estate. Men “waste their substance in riotous living.” Second, remorse (vs. 11-14), how bitter the pain of self-accusation! There is no poisoned dart that wounds the body as the arrow of unavailing remorse pierces the soul. Third, Death v. 5, “Her feet go down to death; her steps lay hold on hell.” Death physical and spiritual is the issues of immorality. Pastor Gary <><

4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Guard the heart above all else. Heart is used figuratively as the feelings, intellect, and the center of everything. It is where we allow influences to come in, but it is also where those influences come out weather good or bad. We are charged to guard the heart for we are created in the image of God. God created us not to have but to be living souls. We guard our hearts (ourselves) by what we think, love, and worship. We guard our hearts as we form godly disciplines like Bible study, prayer, giving, and serving God. When we allow only the right issues in, the right issues will come out. Always keep in contact with those books and those people that enlarge your horizon and make it possible for you to stretch yourself mentally” (O.C). Guard your heart and your feet will walk in the right direction. Pastor Gary <><

3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. Both you and the Lord cannot direct. You acknowledge His direction when you trust His power, wisdom, goodness, and justice. We must renounce self-reliance and relay on Him. This is to cling to, and lean on Him, just as you would lean against a wall for support. The outcome of such trust, He will make a straight path, remove the obstacles and level out the way. We run on the rough path of life when we try to direct our own way. It is not in man to direct his steps, and it is most evident when he tries. Trust the Lord, it may be a road less traveled but always successful under His leadership. Pastor Gary <><

2:12-15, To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths.” Wisdom is the deliver and keeper; every man should want, seek and keep it. Sin begins with departure from “the paths of uprightness”. The foolish have cast off the restraints of the righteous, their parents, and the community. Without restraint they proceed to do what those in darkness do. They now rejoice in doing evil and pervious things, they can go no deeper in sin and now they seek to lead others into the same guilt and vileness! The course of sin is twisted and tortuous, and it resorts to cunning and craftiness in all its ways. Never underestimate the need of wisdom. Pastor Gary <><

1:24-25, “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke…”  To reject wisdom after many invitations brings many terrible consequences (26-33). Wisdom has called to each person and many refuse to listen, she has stretched out her hand and you have refused to take hold of it! Wisdom has given counsel and rebuke through preachers, Christians, friends, parents, etc. but you have deliberately rejected all the counsel of God. The course of human perversity is to postpone with no intention of heeding anything that would be for their best interests. Yet God in His mercy continues to extend and reach, but He will reach no further than human opposition and resistance allow Him to! Pastor Gary <><

31:27-29, “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’” Blessed is the home, the family, and the husband that can say this about their mom and or their wife! Every home need’s such a mom and wife in it, to bring such care, and compassion. She “watches” is aware of the activity of those in her house offering help, encouragement, and rebuke when necessary. She is of the opinion of the apostle who said, "that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10). A mom that watches, teaches responsibility while her children are young knowing that it will make a difference when they are old. In the long run if she has lived such a life she will be praised and excel them all. We need moms that step up not out! Pastor Gary ><>

30:21-23, For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: For a servant when he reigns, A fool when he is filled with food, A hateful woman when she is married, and a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.”  The writer points out four things (many) that are unbearable, they are upside down, out of place. First, the servant in authority, this belongs to the wise and strong. The feeble in mind and heart are the wrong men in the wrong place of power. Second, the self-satisfied fool, he smirks in desperate times, basks in ease, and is unaware of the true conditions! Third, the ill-tempered wife, she is out of place in any home, there is no delight or sweetness where she lives! And last, an ambitious maidservant who obtains her mistress’s property either by evil or right, and then makes bad use of it. Beware of things out of place! Gary French ><>

29:19, “A servant will not be corrected by mere words; For though he understands, he will not respond.” The point, mere words at times are not enough to correct a servant, a child, or an employee. This is not a lack of understanding, but a lack of obedience. Stubbornness is his attitude about many things in life including correction. He is fully aware of what is expected of him, “But he will not respond”, in word or deed. How many experiences have we had in talking to someone and come to find out it went in one ear and out the other. Each situation may call for different kinds of discipline but must at times go beyond mere words. The writer in not suggesting abuse but discipline that leads to correction, a response that shows you got through. I have heard, “Talk is cheap”, if that’s true why do we use so much of it expecting great results? Pastor Gary ><>

28:8, “One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion gathers it for him who will pity the poor.” Another way of saying this is “loan sharks” who charge way too much interest and then enforce excessive penalties on those who are late paying back the loan. The “no credit check” is another way of enticing someone to buy what they cannot afford and then charged high interest for what they do buy. And then of course there is the “big credit card companies” which put credit in the hands of those who already over spend and then charge late fees, penalties, and on top of that high interest rates. The lenders are increasing their possessions through such dealings. We would all be better off living within our means. We all may own less, but we would all rest better too. There seems always a way to get what we cannot afford, beware! Pastor Gary ><>

27:12, A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.” Blindsided or simply foolish! Blind-sidedness and foolishness usually go hand in hand. The hit, pain, or other inflictions might have been avoided had the warning been heeded. Every time we “simple pass” the warnings of God, either from His Word or from the wise we will be punished. Ignorance is no excuse for not preparing against trouble when thoughtfulness would have foreseen it. God has revealed the consequences of sin and no one can reason that his sin will not be punished. But God through His mercy has provided a way of escape through His Son Jesus Christ. The wise believe in Christ and avoids the consequences or sin! The foolish “simple pass” the wisdom and grace of God, stay in trouble and ultimately will be punished for their sin! Pastor Gary <><

26:18-19 “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, ‘I was only joking!’” This is a man set out to deceive without restraint, remorse, or regret. This is not just a man who makes bad business deals, but rather this is a man who deliberately misleads his investors and steals their money. He is a man who knows better himself, but still takes the inexperienced and teaches them how to deceive and mislead others with his unethical practices. This man leads others without hesitation into forbidden pleasures, selfishness, and indulgence into a life of folly. This man only looks at what he did as a bad joke which only reveals more of his evil character. But men of such deceptive practices will lose their honor, and eventually their life. Be careful the schemer could call you today! Pastor Gary ><>

25:17, “Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.” This verse could possibly relate to the one before it, which encourages moderation. Most of us have heard the statement, “don’t wear out your welcome.” And a German proverb says, “Let him who seeks to be of esteem," come seldom." It’s as though a relationship is being forced upon another without consideration of their feelings. The neighbor might at first try to be accommodating but soon becomes weary of your “drop-overs.” Moderation helps us know when to draw the line, and it helps us from becoming a nuisance. The writer must have had such an experience in his own life and therefore encourages us not to become one of those weary people. We should all consider and value one another’s time and space. Pastor Gary ><>

24:1-2, “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; for their heart devises violence, and their lips talk of troublemaking.”  The warning is against who we associate with for we will become like them. Destruction is the direction of evil men, violence and trouble is what they seek. Their company will influence you and it makes you a partner in their sinful doings. The temptation to envy is common among us, because we often only look at the outside appearances of what a man seems to enjoy. And we fail to consider the cost or consequences of the long-term effect. But if we could see the end first the charm of such temptation would be much resisted. The “fear of the Lord” is the best remedy for such powerful temptations (Vs.21-22). In fact, without the Lord a man is powerless to avoid the troublemaker! Pastor Gary ><> 

23:4-5, “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” Many have overworked without getting rich. In-fact it cost them their health, family, and that which made so much sense at the time, now seems like madness. And then there are those who succeed with riches only to see them fly away. Why set yourself up for loss and disappointment seeking to be rich. But cease such pursuits and set your eyes on God. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things will be added unto you.” Our priority should not be riches but God, for when we seek Him we find His favor. He gives peace, contentment, and riches beyond our imagination. To seek God is addition, and all other pursuits’ subtraction. Pastor Gary <><

22:29, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Our writer educates us in the principles of success. Most people would like to succeed but some are not willing to excel in work to do so. But when a man’s work is noticed everyone wants him to work for them. Some principles will include, a knowledge of his work he must be good at what he does. He is diligent in his work willing to start early and stay late, and he is also willing to do what others won’t. The result will be advancement and honor. We can find great examples such as Joseph, Nehemiah, and Daniel. They continued to practice what they knew, stayed diligent despite their unpleasant situations, and each of them stood before kings. Don’t use unpleasant conditions as an excuse but as an opportunity to excel. Pastor Gary ><>