The Proverb For The Day

 

 

22:28 Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.” Landmarks are boundaries, borders, limits, and restraints. Property lines have been moved for years therefore we have surveys done to reestablish lines. People always seem to want more land, and life without restraint. Just as landmarks were established by our fathers, God established landmarks as well. God’s law was written, and sin is condemned, but hope is promised through Jesus in God’s Word. Just as property lines have been moved or removed so have God’s moral lines by men. This is all done for self-interest and departure from God’s law. To disobey the Word of the Lord is to lose the favor of the Lord, but the approval of our own conscience! Our current leadership would do well to obey these words, “Do not remove the ancient landmarks!” Pastor Gary <><

21:3, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Men have always leaned toward the ceremonial rather than the moral. Think of the writer Solomon, who built the Temple, sacrificed it to God, yet still knew the pleasing results of righteous and just living. King David knew this also and wrote Psalms 51:16-17, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise”. It is always easier to give, go, or serve in a religious ceremony than it is to have my heart broken before God. But its brokenness that leads to a life of righteous and just living. The broken heart (over sin) is the only pure motivation for all we do. Brokenness over sin pleases God and it is the only motive acceptable for serving Him. Pastor Gary <><

20:15, “Sensible words are better than gold or jewels.” Most all of us have heard, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” But that has never been true. Words do make a difference. Words do hurt others and cause trouble in families, businesses, and countries. Turn to the media and note how words have made the headlines. Facebook, tweets, and text, are often used to hurt other’s feelings and reputations. These kinds of words may be considered worthless but not painless. As we use our words let’s consider speaking “sensible” ones. The writer values “sensible” words as worth more than gold or jewels. “Sensible” words are full of wisdom and spoken to teach, encourage, and correct. If we really valued our words we would spend a lot more time thinking through them before we send them out. Don’t allow your mouth to out run your brain! Pastor Gary ><>

19:4, “Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his friend.” This truth is illustrated in the Lord's story of the prodigal son. As long as he had money in his pocket and a liberal hand to spend it, he had plenty of friends. When his funds gave out his friends got out, leaving him bankrupt and alone in the far country where famine, and starvation, stared him in the face. Their retreat is a revelation of a shallow friendship. In fact, it reveals further they were in it only for what they could get. The prodigal is now separated from his “friends”, or a more real look they have separated from him because he has no more resources, and possesses no means. He would have been considered to entertain only fair-weather friends, and there are many of those around. The poor man may have few friends, but the one he may have will more than likely be a true friend. Pastor Gary ><>

18:15, “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” We find here a person that has an interest in learning. His desire is to grow in knowledge therefore he seeks it with his ears and his heart. He attends school and higher education to grow in his knowledge. He pays a high price to be educated. But what will he do with such knowledge? Just look around and the results of man’s knowledge is everywhere. His knowledge has produced sky scrapers, theme parks, moon walks, etc. Still man yearns to know more and more about the things that can be researched. Surely those who know the Lord should show the same drive and determination to know Him better and to know more and more about the things He has revealed. We need a revival of the things of God. We have the means we just need the motive! Pastor Gary ><>

17:4 “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.” A bad man delights in and hearkens to evil words; he takes pleasure in those who counsel wickedness, because they are after his own heart. This is the negative side of, “Birds of a feather flock together.” This is a picture of someone who is himself untruthful and listens with greed to any tale that may help him injure or deceive his neighbor, however monstrous and unlikely it may be. In contrast to this, the spirit of the candid and sincerely good man is expressed by Bishop Hall, “If I cannot stop other men's mouths from speaking ill, I will either open my mouth to reprove it, or else I will stop my ears from hearing it, and let him see in my face that he hath no room in my heart.” It is dangerous to live naïve today even though we would like to believe that such evil does not exist! Pastor Gary ><>

16:7-8, “When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.” The writer points out that a man’s walk and his wealth need to be pleasing to the Lord. A righteous walk and a little wealth through the power of God have the potential to change the mind of a man’s enemies and bring contentment for himself for which he thought only vast riches could do. “And the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chronicles 17:10). As Jehoshaphat followed and taught his people to follow the Lord, the Lord blessed him, protected him, and even caused his enemies to bless him with gifts, peace, and wealth. How our nation needs to please the Lord again, and then even our enemies would be at peace with us! Pastor Gary ><>

15:14, “The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.” The writer sets forth a contrast between the one with knowledge and the fool. Someone wrote, “The heart is within a man and the mouth without, and while the former gives and takes, the latter is only giving out.” The one that seeks knowledge realizes that he has none and therefore seeks it. He is not a know-it-all and continues to seek the knowledge needed to live life skillfully. He knows that knowledge will guide his relationships, guard his heart, and help him teach others the right way. He is seeking knowledge so that he may give it out. The heart of understanding is placed over against the mouth of fools. The fool is silly, unwise, and always up to no good. He seems always busy trying to convince someone of something he’s not. Pastor Gary ><>

14:2, He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.” The man who lives an upright life does so because he fears the Lord; all others just talk about it, but there is no evidence in their living. The evidence of the upright is influenced by their fear of the Lord. The outward conduct shows their inward feelings. But the perverse man is evil in his actions because he has no fear of the Lord, and his wickedness is proof that he has no reverence for the Lord. The conduct of the two shows the way in which they regard the Lord and religion, the former acting uprightly, the latter following his own lust, which leads him astray. The man that walks in the right way and fears the Lord is despised by those who walk in sin, thus hatred which sinners have for the godly. Fear the Lord! Pastor Gary ><>

13:1, A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” There is a contrast here between teachable and un-teachable sons. First the wise son listens and follows his father’s instructions. He is ready to learn and he will gain knowledge, desirable qualities, and godliness. He will also save himself from many snares, enrich his life, and honor his parents. But the un-teachable son shows himself to be foolish. He sets out on his own, disregards the experiences of others, and trusts his own shrewdness. He exaggerates his ability, and underestimates the wisdom of others. He is headed for loss, shame, and destruction. He is on a fast track to ruin. “It’s never pleasant to be the parent of a fool and have nothing but pain.” (Prov.17:21). Be wise and heed instructions! Pastor Gary <><

12:27, “The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man's precious possession.”  The lazy man goes to a great deal of trouble to get something he thinks he wants. However as soon as he gets it, he loses all interest in it. The man after his hunt never uses the meat of his prey. Perhaps by the time he gets around to roasting the meat, it is spoiled or stolen. It's too late, but he doesn't really care. His interest in the chase was only superficial at best. Had the man shown just a little diligence, he would have cooked and provided not only for himself but for others. He lacked a most precious possession, diligence! Diligence is that quality a man has that causes him to be careful and persistent with great effort towards his work. The diligent man knows the value of what he has, because he has put forth the effort to acquire it, and the responsibility to share it! Pastor Gary ><>

11:1, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.” The practice of fraud was an issue then and still is today. The law as we are well aware cannot police all the practices of men. Therefore, standard weights and measures were placed in the temple hoping to keep business honest, but it did not keep dishonest people in check. We also go to great lengths to protect the consumer, but the dishonest are only slowed at best. They are always coming up with new ways to trick and rip off the consumer. The only motivation for the dishonest will be the transformation of his heart. It has been proven throughout history that the scales are not the problem, but the man that runs the scales. The “just weight” is the man himself, honest in his dealings, and giving more not less. His heart has been transformed by the grace of God. Has yours? Pastor Gary ><>

10:10, “He who winks with the eye causes trouble, but a prating fool will fall.” The eye has a language all its own. It can flash with anger or express laughter and surprise. The eye can be roving, shifty, or hostile. It can express grief, tears and speak volumes. The eye can communicate without words by winking. A wink can convey a message as surely as words—and more swiftly. A wink can be used to express interest in another person. A wink can convey a secret understanding, an agreement already reached. A wink can be used between two or more people to signal the gullibility of another person. When someone is being teased or misled, a wink is often used to enhance the amusement of those who know the secret. If the wink is used wrongly, which is the point here – it will being ruin to its user and others as well. Be careful what you wink at! Pastor Gary ><>

9:12, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.” Wisdom and foolishness each carry their own personal rewards. A man’s money and land may be divided among family and friends, but not his wisdom. You might have been influenced by his wisdom, but you cannot inherit it. Wisdom is something every man must receive for himself. Wisdom is an attribute of God and a grace given to men. Christ is the one-word description for Wisdom. If you choose Him you are wise for yourself. Someone said, “God has no grandchildren only children.”  But if a man scoffs at God’s wisdom he will bear the penalty of sin alone, which is eternal death. And as wisdom might influence for good, foolishness influences widespread evil and bad consequences. A man’s first duty is to God, therefore be wise for yourself. Pastor Gary <><

8:14-16, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth.”  John Phillips wrote, “Solomon reviewed the entire judiciary, from the supreme court (as represented by the king) to the district courts (as represented by the princes and nobles) on down to the local courts (as represented by the judges). If there is one thing a man must have if he is to occupy a position of authority over other men, it is wisdom. A wise ruler will reign in the affections of his people. A man who makes foolish decisions and hands down unfair or unfounded sentences will soon earn his people's hatred.” We need leaders to lead with wisdom, not political correctness. Wisdom’s trademark on men is the fear of God opposing the foolishness of men. Please God give us such a man to vote for! 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 of us, 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 to him and follow! Pastor Gary ><>

6:1-5, “My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth…” There is always a danger in agreeing with another without first considering the consequences. Emotional decisions are always the costliest. Most of the time emotional decisions lack reason and wisdom. These kinds of decisions play on our heart-strings and we end up agreeing with someone to something we cannot afford. But no matter how we feel or how much it may hurt, if we don’t have the means to fulfill such a request say no! And if you have already entered such an agreement go with humility and do all you can to free yourself from such an agreement (Vs.3-5). Indebtedness has been the ruin of many and they don’t mind taking you with them, say no! Pastor Gary <><

5:5-6, If you follow her [immoral woman], she will lead you down to the world of the dead. She has missed the path that leads to life and doesn’t even know it.” Whenever the teacher speaks of the immoral woman he gives the same description of her (Proverbs 2:18; 7:27; 9:18). Her path leads down with persistent, willful, headstrong, foolishness, wickedness and is far removed from the path of life. Her ways willfully go here and there like the steps of a drunk; they are slippery without any definite aim, and always staggering in the direction of sin. She is so blinded by her own pursuit that she now cannot regard or perceive the way to life. She leads her victims to ruin. She runs toward death and takes all those who follow with her. It is shame to a man to permit a mere harlot to entice him and prevent him from the path of life for the way of death! She’s not worth it! Pastor Gary ><>

4:26, “Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.” Make straight, or level the path before taking a step. The sense is to remove any obstacle that would keep you from making a right moral decision. Weigh the consequences of a step, what will it cost, and who will it hurt before taking it! If you ponder, really look, consider the obstacles, determine the cost, change course if necessary then step, the result “all your ways will be established.” The Word of God pondered in the heart of man leads his feet to right paths and his ways to godly living. We don’t have to make bad decisions we choose to when we disregard God’s Word. Think before you step and then choose to step correctly. 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 <><

2:19, “None who go to her (an immoral woman) return, nor do they regain the paths of life.”  Those who join her are described as not able to return. The Targum reads, “They shall not return in peace.” There is much difficulty for those who give themselves up to indulgences of lust (adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc). These are easier moved into, than they are moved away from. St. Chrysostom said, “It is as difficult to bring back a libidinous (strong sexual desires) person to chastity as a dead man to life.” And Deiphobe said, “O Trojan, son of Anchyses, easy is the path that leads to hell. But to retrace one's steps, and escape to the upper regions, this is a work, this is a task.” The Supreme Court, Obama and others support of gays have made it even more difficult for them to ever turn from sin to Christ. I believe the Bible, not Obama or his followers! Pastor Gary <>< 

1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction”.  Fear is the foundation of truth. Fear is reverence for God’s nature, presence, and will. Reverence results in obedience to His commands and submission to His will. Fear is the beginning of knowledge, which is the belief that God is, that He reigns, and that He is the source and foundation of all blessings and life. And this is the foundation on which all wisdom, all success, and all superiority rest. But fools despise and reject wisdom. The foolish man does not even what to know; he despises the very elements of instruction, he will not take the first step in the path of wisdom. He seeks his own direction, council, and will. He stumbles into darkness and away from God, the light of the world, wisdom and life. Fear the Lord and you won’t have to fear life. Pastor Gary <><

31:14-15, “She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.” The writer continues to praise the good wife. She is a great provider, compared to the going and coming of a “merchant ship” seeking the best product for the best price to meet the needs of her family. She is seen as taking great care because she cares greatly for her family, and also the servants. She rises early knowing the selection would be greater than if she was to sleep in. Some of you may marvel at her attitude and willingness to do so much for her family, but just read a little further v.31 she “fears the Lord.” In other words, she reverences the Lord and knows that the way she cares for her family and others is reflective of her love for God. And men when we “fear the Lord” we will respect our wife. 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. Be wise especially when things are out of place! Gary French ><>

29:15-17, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases; but the righteous will see their fall. Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.” Parents that refuses to discipline their children also fail to obey God’s Word. The writer ties wisdom to correction; correction to delight and rest for a mother. And he also ties a lack of correction to an increase of the wicked, transgression, and shame to a mother. The “rod” may not work every time, but it cannot work at all if parents refuse to use it. I realize that people write books on child discipline, most of which are out of their own experiences, and options, but God wrote this one based on truth that does not change from one generation to another. “Correct your son, and he will give you rest.” Pastor Gary ><> 

28:9, “God has no use for the prayers of the people who won't listen to him” (MSG). God will not answer the prayers of the disobedient. People want to be defiant against God’s law and yet expect God to hear and answer their prayers. He won’t! “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear” (Ps.66:18). People spend much of their time justifying their sin, without regarding what it does, what it cost, and it’s ultimate punishment. Prayer that God does not hear will not be answered! It’s not that God does not want to hear your prayer it’s that He chooses not to when you fail to be obedient to His Word, ignore His light, and reject His Son! If you loved God you would obey Him, and He would answer your prayers. The answer to unanswered prayer, repent of sin and turn back to God, this prayer He will listen to. Prayer is not just talk its conversation based on an intimate relationship with God. Pastor Gary<><

27:17 (MSG), “You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” Friendships needed but rare. This is a picture of sharpening a sword as it collides with another source of steel or stone. The collision of mind with mind draws out the truth and gives opportunity to change perspective. A man may grow wiser by an hour’s discourse with a friend than by a day’s meditation. What we fail to see, a friend can see and through such a discourse changes can be made. Someone said, “In the collision of minds the man brings his own thoughts to light, and whets his wits against a stone that cuts not.” A true friend will not agree with you if you are wrong, but he will listen and offer advice. One of the most dangerous things you can do is become disconnected or isolated. Friends help make us, make good friends! Pastor Gary <><

26:9, Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” I remember when I was a teenager we boys would have sandspur fights. That’s right sounds foolish and painful it was. But pain was the intent, so you better be able to run and run fast! And to think we were sober, but not so with the man above, drunk and armed with a thorn and ready for mischief. I think you have the picture, a stupid excited person liable to become dangerous for no good reason. In this passage a wise saying in a fool’s mouth is compared with something useless, and it is compared with something injurious. A “proverb” in the mouth of a fool will never reach its intended purpose, which should be to correct, encourage, enlighten, and bring understanding. Let me encourage you to consider the source before you determine a course of action! Pastor Gary ><>

25:15, “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” The subject here is patience and the reward of such character. Patience is calmness no matter the confrontation. The person with patience can talk without raising his or her voice. People with patience are easier to listen to and more understood when they talk. The point is the temperament, it could be most important when persuading someone in a case. Note the power of a gentle tongue! Gentle words can overcome opposition, and disarm the most determined enemy. Gentle speech could change what otherwise could have been a bad situation. A gentle tongue could change the whole conversation and provide a better outcome. Next time you feel you need to get something off your chest wait until you can speak kindly. You may find that more people listen to you. Pastor Gary ><>

24:15-16, “Do not lie in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; Do not plunder his resting place; For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.” We find here the wicked man plotting for the ruin of a good man’s house, with the hope of profiting by the disaster. The warning is against the wicked for such an evil plot, don’t do it! The righteous man is under divine protection, the wicked will not get away with it, and in the end he will be punished. The wicked may cause the righteous to fall but it will not be fatal he will get up again and again. He will not lose his trust in the Lord for the Lord always watches over him and delivers him out of all his afflictions. “Seven times” means often, as often as he falls he will be lifted up. In contrast when the wicked suffer calamity there is no recovery for them! Their fall is fatal and final! Pastor Gary ><>

23:13-14, Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” The parental instinct is to let the child have his way, to give him the gratification he desires, and to allow him to find pleasure in his temporary happiness. This is allowed to spare him suffering. Our instinct is to save our children from all trouble great or small. But the danger is without loving correction the child becomes the wayward boy, the degenerate young man, and the wreck of manhood. He becomes self-centered, incapable of controlling his spirit, and disregards the law. Proper discipline preserves a youth not only from many material dangers here, but could save him from spiritual death, and the retribution that awaits the sinner in another. Love and correct your child its God’s plan for our families! Pastor Gary ><>