Archive for the ‘Proverbs 03’ Category

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth with the first fruits of all your crops

How important is God to you? Can you improve your finances? This proverb answers both questions! You can honor Him with your mouth, but talk is cheap. You should put your money where your mouth is to show true honor. Solomon promised, “So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Pr 3:10).

Success requires giving some of your assets, and the first part of any increase, to God. Giving Him leftovers, whether large or small, is not honor, and it does not fulfill the proverb. Solomon gave a financial secret – firstfruits giving to honor God. Giving money away is how to get ahead (Pr 11:24). Are you poor? You cannot afford not to give!

Firstfruits giving pays God off the top. Fruit is return on investment or labor. First is paying God before anyone else, including you. Many violate this rule by giving a few bits of all they make. This is not honor. Others violate it by giving from what is left after expenses. This is not honor. This is not firstfruits. Many give a percentage of take home pay, though they always quote their salary in terms of gross pay. This is not firstfruits.

The tithe is not taught directly in the New Testament. It was taught in the Law of Moses.  The Israelites gave 23 1/3 % with two annual tithes and a triennial tithe (Num 18:20-32; Deut 14:22-29). Plus they gave special vows and freewill offerings (Deut 12:6). How did Abraham and Jacob know about tithing before the Law of Moses (Gen 14:20; 28:22)? Because it is a general rule of godly giving, which New Testament saints should use as a guide or  minimum for the far greater blessings they enjoy (Luke 12:48; Heb 8:6).

God dares His people to test how much He can bless them (Mal 3:8-12). Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were financially blessed, because they knew how to give (Gen 14:20; 28:22). God made David rich (I Chron 29:18), but David loved to give (I Chron 21:24; 22:1-16). If you give liberally, the Lord promises to reward you liberally (Pr 11:25; Luke 6:38).

A Christian businessman, R.G. LeTourneau, grasped the concept of honoring God and giving – he gave 90% and kept 10% for himself, no matter his financial situation! He became one of America’s great industrialists. “The question” he said, “is not how much of my money I give to God, but rather how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”

How you give counts more with the blessed God than how much you give. The Lord loves a cheerful giver (II Cor 8:12; 9:7). Giving should be your favorite financial activity. The Lord Jesus Christ took note of a widow woman giving just two mites (Luke 21:1-4). If you combine cheerful giving with liberal giving, God will bless you greatly.



Under Gods Command                          

Proverbs 3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place

Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rom 3:4)! Here is fabulous truth about the origin of the earth and heavens. Any science that contradicts it is false science (I Tim 6:20-21). For you to appreciate wisdom in Solomon’s Proverbs, God used it to create the universe.

Most today foolishly believe the earth and heavens are the result of a cosmic explosion – a big bang. They believe the incredible order, beauty, design, life, intelligence, consciousness, sexes, animal spirits, reproductive ability, and human souls, among trillions of other aspects of the universe, are the result of combustion of gases in space!

Chaos brought all this into existence by chance! Now that theory takes enormous faith – confidence in man’s speculative imagination, with no supporting evidence, and with all experience denying the remotest possibility. And the more education a person has, the more confident they are of this ridiculous hallucination. So much for higher education!

Children know better. For, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1). For, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Heb 11:3). A child can read, memorize, and understand that the only true book declares creation.

Men today are as stupid as a stone. They reason from pure speculation out of hatred and rebellion against their Creator. Wisdom reasons by faith from the visible creation and the obviously inspired revelation of the Bible. The truth is certain and sure, but only a man with faith can see it and hold it (II Thess 3:1-2). Thank you, Lord, for the gift of faith.

All thoughts about origins, worldviews, truth, and wisdom start with presuppositions – axioms assumed to be self-evident. God-haters, like Stephen Hawkings or Bill Nye, assume there is no God or divine revelation in order to substitute the theory of evolution for creation. Believers assume the existence of God by faith and the evidence in creation; they assume the Bible is divine revelation by faith and its internal evidence.

The LORD and Solomon want you to learn wisdom and understanding (Pr 3:13,21), for the benefits of having it are numerous and glorious (Pr 3:14-18,22-26). But where did wisdom come from, and how valuable is it? You have this proverb, and its conclusion in Prov 3:20, to provoke greater appreciation for wisdom by considering its Source and use.

Wisdom and understanding are from the LORD, Who has both in infinite measure; and He used them to found the earth and establish the heavens. Wisdom and understanding are what guided the Creator God in the design of the universe.  Now are you interested in acquiring it?  Now are you willing to listen, as Solomon teaches you the fear of the Lord?

The LORD God Jehovah created the earth with its axis holding an angle of 23.5 degrees, so you have seasons and varying amounts of light and night. He made 24-hour periods of time called days, which are just the right amount of time to work, play, and sleep before the next one begins. The list could go on indefinitely. He made it all perfectly good.

He established the moon to keep track of months, and the stars to guide sailors on the seas.  They hold in patterns called constellations, and the sun gives just the right amount of heat within a narrow range for life on earth to prosper. The list could go on forever.

Dear reader, if other descriptions of wisdom have not moved you, does the use of wisdom by God in creating the universe impress you? You may have the wisdom of God, if you will take it. The book of Proverbs was written to help you get it, so get it (Pr 4:7)!

And remember that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in the Lord Jesus, the blessed and soon-appearing Redeemer, Who created all things Himself, and by Whom all things consist, and by Whom all things are upheld (Col 1:16-17; 2:3; Heb 1:3).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 13:03 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

You have not mastered self-control if you do not control what you say. Words can cut and destroy. James recognized this truth when he stated, “The tongue is a small part of the body but makes great boast”. If you want to be self-controlled, begin with your tongue. Stop and think before you react or speak. If you can control this small but powerful member, you can control the rest of your body.

Under Gods Command                                  

Proverbs 3:32 for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.

Good guys finish first! Measure their end, not their beginning, for there are no exceptions to the rule. God will fight against every wicked person, because He abhors each one. But He will personally bless the righteous with His presence and goodness, because He loves each of them. Do not be misled by the world, which exalts the wicked and despises the righteous. It is their last arrogant gasp at self-delusion before their final destruction.

Because the world glamorizes wicked men in its rebellion against God and truth, men often envy oppressors (Pr 3:31; 23:17; 24:1,19; Ps 37:1,7). For a time it may seem that deceitful and violent men get ahead without consequences. But the inspired warning – “Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways,” – is based on the rule here (Pr 3:31). Apparent success is a temporary illusion. Hell will be paid! God guarantees it!

What is a froward man? This older word means a man who goes counter to what is right; he is unreasonable, perverse, difficult to deal with, hard to please, refractory, and ungovernable. He is obnoxious and wicked. He is the oppressor from the previous proverb, who uses any means he can to harm others and take advantage of them. The warning is clear – do not choose his ways or choose to be with him. He is going down!

You have seen this man before. Have you envied him? He is brash and confident. He breaks the rules and seems to never get caught. In fact, he is often honored and rewarded, as if his cheating were the profitable thing to do. He has no regard for others, and he uses them for whatever he can get from them. He may become powerful and successful, and you wonder if there is any reward for living a holy and righteous life (Ps 73:1-14).

But God abominates such wicked men. He hates them with perfect hatred, and He will judge them in this world and the next. If you think God loves such men but hates their sin, then hear the word of the Lord, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Ps 5:5). “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Ps 11:5). Pharaoh greatly oppressed the Hebrews, so God suffocated him in the Red Sea for his frowardness (Ex 14:17; Rom 9:15-18).

Who are the righteous? They are good men who live by God’s definition of what is right. They fear and love God, and they adjust their lives to match what is written in the Bible. They hate sin, and they love holiness. They are strangers and pilgrims in this world, for they know their real citizenship and everlasting inheritance is in another world – heaven. God rewards them in this life and the next, and Solomon described them over fifty times.

What is God’s secret, which He gives to the righteous? It is His personal presence and favors, which He grants to good men in ways the world cannot recognize. As men share intimate plans and rewards with their best friends, so the Lord shares His glory and blessings with holy men. He tells them through His Spirit of His love for them and of the unspeakable rewards He has waiting for them in heaven (Ps 25:14; I Cor 2:9; Gal 4:6-7).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:30 Do not accuse a man for no reason-when he has done you no harm

You better have a good reason to debate, fight, or sue anyone. You may defend yourself if real harm has been done. But God condemns petty, hypocritical, or vengeful responses. There better be significant injury involved, or He will judge you for hatred (Matt 7:1-5).

How serious are the consequences of debating or fighting for no good cause? The great God of heaven hates such contrary, froward, obnoxious, and wicked men (Pr 3:31-32). He curses the families of men that will not get along with others and that like to stir up trouble (Pr 3:33). He will scorn the scorners and promote fools to shame (Pr 3:34-35).

Of course, contentious men always say they have a reason for contending with others. In their perverted sense of justice, they are right to argue, fight, or sue most anyone for damages. But God knows the hearts of all men, and He will despise their petty, personal, hypocritical, or vengeful thoughts. He will be froward to froward men (Ps 18:25-26).

Wisdom includes knowledge and ability to get along with others. Wise men are glorious, because they know they should defer anger and ignore minor offences (Pr 19:11). They know that if they are unmerciful in holding men accountable for their small offences, then God Himself will not forgive them their trespasses (Matt 6:14-15; 18:21-35).

What causes some men to be contentious? Pride! Only pride (Pr 13:10)! It is not an innate sense of justice or righteousness that causes them to criticize, debate, fight, or oppose others. It is the pride of their wicked hearts that refuses to be merciful, refuses to overlook small offences, and refuses to forgive others fully and easily. Pride is damning. You can call it principle if you want, but God and all good men know it is only pride.

How about women that nag? Same thing! Their pride finds pleasure in correcting their husbands. They love to remind him about every fault or mistake he has made. Resenting their role, they show haughtiness and selfishness by contending and brawling. No wonder Solomon repeatedly warned against such women (Pr 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15).

Peace and unity, godly goals of wise men, require overlooking minor offences or faults of others. Only when life or home is threatened is there cause for fighting. Jesus Christ taught that even anger in your heart or name-calling without a righteous cause is murder (Matt 5:21-22)! Let that charge sink in. And responding with force to minor offences is of the same character (Matt 5:38-42). Let someone slap you on a cheek. So what? If someone sues you for your coat, go ahead and give them a cloak as well. Make peace!

In earlier generations of America, children had a godly little rhyme that originated around 1862, “Stick and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” This is exactly the wisdom of this proverb. If you are in danger of having your bones broken, say by an intruder at night, you may defend your home, family and self (Ex 22:2). But being called names only gives you an opportunity to respond in kindness (Rom 12:17-21).

Solomon also taught against vengeance, “Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work” (Pr 24:19-20). The golden rule taught by Jesus Christ is treating others as you want them to treat you, not the way they may have treated you. Can you by God’s grace flush all revenge and choose to love your enemies?

A contentious spirit is from hell, but a gentle and peaceful spirit is from heaven (Jas 3:14-18). What a great difference! What a glorious opportunity for you show a difference in your character and make a difference in the world. What a precious opportunity and privilege to please God and men and to promote peace wherever you go. What will you do today? Fight over anything? Or forgive everything? Be a peacemaker. Amen.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding

How can you be happy? King Solomon told you how. The man who had everything knew more about happiness than anyone. What was his advice? Knowing that wisdom and understanding greatly affect every part of your life, he said to find and get them both.

Daily goals for your life should include seeking wisdom and understanding. They will do more for you than any other thing. They will bring you true happiness and many other blessings. What is your chief ambition in life today? Are you chasing vanity instead?

Solomon taught his son to search for wisdom (Pr 2:1-9); it would save him from much trouble (Pr 2:10-21). To encourage his son, and you as well, in pursuit of it, he described wisdom’s great blessings (Pr 3:14-18). It and understanding can make you happy.

Compared economically, obtaining wisdom and understanding is better than a prosperous business in gold and silver (Pr 3:14). They are of greater value than rubies (Pr 3:15). In fact, wisdom and understanding are more important than anything you could possible seek in your life (Pr 3:15). Financial gain does not give lasting happiness to any man, and it brings enormous worries and problems with it (Pr 23:4-5; Eccl 5:10-17; I Tim 6:9-10).

Wisdom and understanding will give you a long life, riches, and honor (Pr 3:16). They will bring you pleasantness and peace (Pr 3:17). They will be the source of a wonderful life; and if you keep them, you will be very happy (Pr 3:18). There is nothing this world has to offer that can compare. Why waste any more effort chasing their soap bubbles?

If this fabulous description of the benefits of wisdom and understanding were only half true, you should still make getting them a priority. Nothing else you are working for even comes close. But Solomon, king of Israel, knew what he wrote. Having tried every sort of project and pleasure to find profit and happiness in this life, he concluded that wisdom and understanding are the great goals (Pr 8:32-36). Trust his efforts (Pr 25:2; Eccl 2:12).

Wisdom and understanding know the basis and purpose for life and how to deal rightly with each situation life brings. Instead of the hopeless confusion of not knowing what man is here for nor how to handle life’s problems, those with wisdom and understanding find life a pleasant and peaceful experience with much happiness. They are successful and rich, as measured by noble standards, and they are honored among good men.

Wisdom and understanding are built on the foundation of fearing the Lord (Pr 1:7; 9:10). They are increased by rejecting your own ideas and trusting the Lord’s instruction (Pr 3:5-7), which is found in His holy scriptures (II Tim 3:16-17), especially Proverbs. God raised up Solomon and inspired these select proverbs to teach young men, and every reader, wisdom and understanding (Pr 1:1-4). Learning them should be your daily goal.

Every day should include begging God for wisdom (Jas 1:5), repudiating your own folly (Job 33:27), searching the Scriptures for it (Acts 17:11), and doing what you learn (Jas 1:22). With effort applied in these areas, you will find a liberal supply of wisdom and understanding (Pr 2:5,8; 8:17). But you must sacrifice to make this a priority (Pr 18:1).

Ultimate and infinite wisdom and understanding are in the Lord Jesus Christ (Col 2:3). He came to give His elect children the abundant life, as they believe and obey more and more perfectly (John 10:10). In Him is full and unspeakable joy (I Pet 1:8; I John 1:4). Believe on Him and follow His scriptures today for happiness in this world and the next.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 9:3 She has sent our maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city.

The world’s best woman wants you! She has a house with seven pillars (Pr 9:1). She has prepared a feast (Pr 9:2); she wants to have an intimate meal with you (Pr 9:5). Solomon personified wisdom as a desirable woman, Lady Wisdom. Will you accept her invitation?

Wisdom is available for any man or woman who wants it. It is not far away; it is not difficult to obtain. It is not hard to find; it is not just for the intelligent or educated. There are no age or sex limitations. The only prerequisite is simplicity, or ignorance (Pr 9:4)!

If you are perplexed with any aspect of life, Wisdom is calling you. The blessed LORD God offers wisdom and understanding to men. All they must do is act on the invitation to humble themselves before Him and diligently apply the instruction He freely offers them.

Wisdom is found in creation (Ps 19:1-6), for God revealed His eternal power and Godhead by created things you see. It is also found in parents, teachers, counselors, and pastors (Pr 5:13; 24:6; Mal 2:7; Eph 6:4). But it is mostly found in the Bible (Ps 19:7-11).

The psalmist declared, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps 119:130). Scripture can make a minister perfect (II Tim 3:16-17). You should give attention to it, as the only light in this dark world (Is 8:20; II Pet 1:19).

God gave you a manual of wisdom in the Bible! He also promised His Spirit of wisdom to those who ask, and He will give both liberally (Luke 11:13; Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; Jas 1:5). With an offer like Solomon’s dream, do you pray for wisdom and understanding?

Her maidens want your attention. She cries out to you. You cannot please God without her. You need her to be successful or happy. You cannot face God after death without her. If you neglect or reject her call, she will punish your folly (Pr 1:20-32; 8:32-36).

Test your heart about Lady Wisdom right now. Do you appreciate your parents reproving you? Friends correcting you? A pastor warning you? Do you crave the assemblies of the saints, where the Word of God is boldly preached? Even when the sermon is long?

Do you read these proverbs carefully, seeking to extract every morsel of wisdom you can, since they are God’s inspired wisdom from the pen of King Solomon? You do not have to look far to see the maidens Lady Wisdom sent to invite you. What will you do right now?

Jesus Christ is Wisdom personified (I Cor 1:30; Col 2:3). God’s wisdom is seen clearly in the life of Jesus Christ. His apostles, eyewitnesses of His resurrection, preached His gospel throughout the world. Have you believed and obeyed that message of wisdom?