Posts Tagged ‘jesus christ’


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked

Fear is one of life’s worst experiences. A dreaded event may be imagined, or it may be real, but both are very painful. Terrifying news or reports of danger can suddenly cause great alarm and fear. Or you may know God is going to severely judge the wicked around you. But in both cases, wise men will be happy and peaceful, because God will be their confidence in danger, and He will deliver them from judgment of the wicked (Pr 3:26).

The larger context describes the many benefits of wisdom (Pr 3:1-22). The smaller context teaches that peace from fear and safety from danger are some of these benefits (Pr 3:23-24). The proverb above declares wisdom’s value to deliver men from surprise events and trouble and from God’s judgment of sinners. Because wisdom includes the fear of God and obedience to Him, He will save such men and women from both dangers.

Praise the true and living God! A Christian should not fear anything, for his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord (Ps 112:7-8). Even if an army were to come against him, he can be confident, because the high King of Heaven is on his side (Ps 27:1-6). Even if the surface of the earth were violently overthrown, there is no cause for fear at all (Ps 46:1-7). Here is a glorious benefit of wisdom – faith in God will save you from all fears (Ps 34:1-7).

Consider sudden fear. A doctor says you have cancer! Your spouse of many years leaves you! You are fired unexpectedly! You are in the middle of a bank during a robbery! Your son is killed in an accident! Your auto quits, and you have no money for repairs! A powerful nation declares war against yours! Your retirement plan is cancelled entirely!

Those who fear God and love wisdom have complete confidence in the face of fear. Naaman contracted incurable leprosy, but he boldly sought Elisha for its full cure. Hezekiah had a fatal disease, but he prayed for a couple minutes and was given 15 more years. Jesus Christ went to the cruel death of the cross with total confidence in His Father. Paul and Silas could sing praises in a Roman dungeon in Philippi, Macedonia.

Consider the desolation of the wicked. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 40 million! World War II took 72 million more! Deranged moon worshippers destroyed the World Trade Center! A 2004 tsunami wiped out the lives and homes of many from ten nations!

Those who fear God and love wisdom are kept from God’s judgment of the wicked. God drowned all men by a worldwide flood 4500 years ago, but Noah and his family were dry in the Ark. He took Lot out of Sodom before burning it up. Jacob and his family were fed in the best part of Egypt during a terrible famine. Many saints were saved out of Jerusalem, when God sent the Roman armies to destroy the murderers of His Son.

What is wisdom? It is reverently fearing the LORD Jehovah of the Bible and keeping His commandments. God befriends, blesses, delivers, and helps such men, so they need not fear in this world or the next. They can respond confidently to any news of trouble, for they will be protected. If the God of heaven is on your side, then there is nothing man or natural disasters can do to you (Pr 3:26; Ps 118:6; Matt 10:28-31; Heb 13:5-6).

The worst fear the world has ever seen and the worst desolation of the wicked are yet to come, and they are not far off (II Thes 1:7-9). Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that do not know God and do not obey the gospel. But those who believe in Him will be glorified and will admire Him at the very same event (II Thes 1:10). Believe and obey the Lord Jesus Christ today.


SIN

GET THE HELL OUT OF YOU! 

Proverbs: 06:16-19 (16) There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him, (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. 

How bad is sin? God hates it with extreme disgust and intense distaste! Sin is an abomination to the LORD! What men call faults, errors, or mistakes – God calls sin! He despises and abhors sin – He hates it! With our degraded concept of God’s holiness, we cannot know the full extent of God’s incredible hatred of sin. With a degraded concept of God’s character, foolish men imagine that God must be like them.

There is none holy as the Lord (1 Sam 2:2). Even the heavens are not clean in His sight (Job 15:14-16). Worship Him!

The blessed LORD hates all sin equally, with an infinite hatred, but Solomon sought to warn his son about several that destroy wisdom and leave man exposed before his holy Creator. The seven sins are pride, lying, murder, evil thoughts, mischief, false witnesses, and sowing discord.

The fear of the LORD, which is the foundation of wisdom and understanding, includes a God-like hatred for sin. Solomon wrote later in Proverbs, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward (difficult to deal with) mouth, do I hate” (8:13). David wrote, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil.”

In an effeminate and compromising society, it is impossible to get a proper view of sin. Criminals are pardoned; sin is glamorized by the entertainment industry and justified by the educational system; and all levels of authority allow sin to go unchecked or punish it mercifully and slowly – so leniently and slowly it is no deterrent at all (Eccl 8:11 When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong).

How bad is sin? God condemned Satan to an eternal hell for pride (Is 14:12-15; Matt 25:41). God condemned mankind to an eternal hell for Adam eating the fruit from a forbidden tree (Gen 2:16-17; 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-14). And He drowned the entire world in a flood of water, without regard to age or sex, for their sin and wickedness (Gen 7:21-23).

How bad is sin? The LORD annihilated seven nations of Canaan for abominable atrocities like adultery and sodomy, two sins glamorized in America (Lev 18:1-30; Acts 13:19). A man was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Num 15:32-36). And God killed a man and his wife in church for fudging their giving (Acts 5:1-11).

How bad is sin? God required capital punishment for disrespectful children (30:17; Deut 27:16). He required the death penalty for adultery (Lev 20:10), and He measures even the desire for another woman as adultery (Matt 5:28). He considers unjust anger and cruel words as implicit murder (Matt 5:21-26). And He counts the violation of one instruction as breaking the entire law, for even one transgression is of infinite evil (Jas 2:10-11).

How bad is sin? In order for God to accept any man in His presence, He had to send His only begotten Son to be tortured to death in a substitutionary payment for sin! In the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, we clearly see God’s hatred for sin, for He forsook His beloved Son, when the sins of the elect were laid to His charge (Matt 27:46). God is able and willing to love His elect, only because He views them in Christ Jesus (Eph 1-3-6).

One of the greatest character traits of the Lord Jesus Christ was His love of righteousness and hatred of sin (Ps 45:7; Heb 1:8-9). For this glorious attribute, the blessed God honored Him far above all other men. From His example, we can see that nobility of spirit and approval before God is in direct proportion to love of virtue and hatred of sin.

Reader, if your knowledge of God is from a sweet Sunday School teacher, you probably think God hates the sin, but loves the sinner. Guess again! David wrote, “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. (Ps 5:4-6). 

What should you do? Reorder your value system! Hate Hollywood and the NEA! Teach your children to abhor sin and evil. Teach them to love righteousness and holiness. Exalt good men and women; despise bad men and women. Punish sin severely; reward virtue generously! Love the whole Bible, not just pet verses! Choose to be like David, and hate all evil influences in your holy desire to walk perfectly before your God

 

(Ps 101:2-8) (2)I will be carful to lead a blameless life – when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. (3)I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. (4) Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.

(5) Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. (6) My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

(7) No one who pratices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

(8)Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the LORD.

 

Lets break these down 

Proverbs: 06:16-19 (16) There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him, (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, (18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

 (17) haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood

God hates seven things, and here are three! Though pride, lying, and murder are accepted today, the LORD Jehovah hates them. He has not changed, even remotely, since eternity! If you want war with the great and terrible God, who is holy, then allow one of these sins in yourself or those around you (Ps 47:2; 66:3-5; 68:35; 99:3).

An effeminate society may try to outlaw hatred, but the God of the Bible despises political correctness and still hates sin and sinners (Ps 5:5; 11:5; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8)! Do not deceive yourself! The dreadful God of heaven is not the senile old man painted by Michelangelo for popes and cardinals to dream about! He is angry at the wicked every day (Ps 7:11)! And He will soon cast His enemies into hell (Ps 9:17; Rev 20:11-15)!

Before excusing or justifying yourself in the condemning light of this proverb, remember three things. God hates more than seven sins – He hates all sin and sinners (Ex 34:7; Nah 1:3). The application is very broad and includes much more than meets the eye (Ps 119:96; Matt 5:21-22). And you will give a full account to Him shortly (Eccl 12:13-14).

The right sense is important here, lest the self-righteous try to escape (Neh 8:8). When the Bible condemns a proud look, a lying tongue, and murdering hands, it intends much more than a sinful face, speech, or actions. It includes every associated sin that would fall under that general category. For example, a proud heart with a humble look is damned!

The LORD hates a proud look! He cannot stand any kind of pride in angels or men. He cast Lucifer and his angels out of heaven for pride (Is 14:12-15; I Tim 3:6; Jude 1:6). He hates self-esteem, strife, haughty thoughts, self-promotion, proud anger, an irreligious life, selfishness, boasting, conceited eyes, and stubbornness among other sins (13:10; 14:3; 21:24; 25:27; 26:16; 30:17; Ps 10:2-6; Is 2:11-12; Rom 12:3; Gal 6:3; II Tim 3:1-5).

The LORD hates a lying tongue! He loves truth, and He hates any kind of deception. The devil is the father of lies, and his children are just like him (John 8:44; Eph 2:1-3). Liars are going to hell (Rev 21:8; 22:15). God hates exaggeration, fraud, misrepresentation, false witnessing, slander, flattery, silence under oath, and joking among other sins of lying (10:18; 12:22; 19:5; 20:23; 26:18-19,28; Ex 23:1; Deut 19:16-21; Job 17:5).

The LORD hates murderous hands! He loves life, for He is the living God, and He gives life and breath to all (Gen 2:7; Is 42:5; Acts 17:25). Life is sacred, not because man is special, but because God created it and defends it! The devil was a murderer from the beginning, and so are his children, who are all going to hell (John 8:44; Rev 21:8; 22:15).

God hates abortion, backbiting, bitterness, debate, envy, grudges, malice, manslaughter, negligent homicide, strife, foolish anger, neglecting child discipline, railing, foolish killing of animals, ignoring cries for help, lack of mercy, wrath, withholding capital punishment, and talebearing among other sins of murder (12:20; 13:24; 22:6-7; 23:13-14; 31:8-9; Ex 21:22-25,28-29; Deut 22:6-8; Matt 5:21-26; Gal 5:19-21; Eph 4:31-32).

God’s word is to be interpreted and applied broadly. Its commandments go far beyond what meets the eye, or the limitations your heart wishes were on them! These are things God hates, and yet they are hardly preached against today! Seeker sensitive types want you to think all is well! But you can see there might be one or two sins that condemn you! You need to teach these things to your children, and you need to humble yourself.

Reader! You are condemned! David put it this way, “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (Ps 130:3.) If God marks and records sins, then every man is doomed to eternal judgment. And He does just that! He will show you every violation of this proverb in a day fast approaching (Eccl 12:13-14; Rev 20:11-15).

But that is not the end of the story, for David wrote next, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared” (Ps 130:4). Without forgiveness, God would be unapproachable; but there is mercy for those that call upon Him, which only the elect will ever do (John 3:19; 5:40; 6:44; 8:45)! Faith is the result of predestination (Acts 13:48).

God chose to forgive His elect before the world began by ordaining Jesus Christ as a perfect substitute to die for them (John 6:38-39; 10:26-29; 17:2; Rom 5:6-21; 8:29-39; Eph 1:3-11; I Pet 1:20). God owes His mercy and love to none; and He gives it to those He chooses (Ex 33:19; Rom 9:15). If you love Him, He loved you first (I John 4:19).

18) a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,

God is watching your heart and your feet. How well are you ruling your thoughts? He will hold you accountable for them in this life and the next. He hates the wicked imaginations and fantasies of your foolish heart. How well are you restraining and guiding your feet? He hates hasty and impulsive sinners who rush from sin to sin.

Contrary to popular opinion, hate is good. God hates seven sins and sinners, as our context clearly shows (6:16-19). God hates the foolish workers of iniquity (Ps 5:5); He hates lovers of violence (Ps 11:5); He will declare soon that He never knew them – He never had any affection for them (Matt 7:23). David also hated them (Ps 139:21-22). Two of the sins and sinners that God hates are listed in this proverb. Reader, are you guilty?

You cannot hide from Jehovah’s all-seeing eyes (15:3; Ps 11:4). The Creator God sees and ponders all you do (5:21; Jer 17:10). In His holy sight, foolish thoughts are sin (24:9; Ezek 14:4; Matt 5:28). He can divide between your soul and spirit, and every thought and intent of your heart is naked before Him (Heb 4:12-14). He sees where you go and what you do, no matter how well you hide them from others (Job 34:21; Ps 139:1-6).

What is a heart that devises wicked imaginations? It is a heart that forms sinful thoughts from lustful affections and emotions. God described Noah’s generation with very similar words (Gen 6:5). Do you allow lusts of your heart to form sinful ideas and thoughts? This is precisely how sin gets started (Jas 1:13-16). You must guard and rule your heart (4:23).

Do you have sexual fantasies (6:25; Job 31:1)? Do you surmise evil about others (I Tim 6:3-5)? Do you hold grudges (Lev 19:18; Matt 18:35)? Are you puffed up about yourself (Col 2:18)? Do you envy the advantages of others (Jas 3:14-16)? Do you hate anyone in your heart (Lev 19:17)? Do you curse authority at all under your breath (Eccl 10:20)?

What are feet that are swift in running to mischief? They describe a man who is hasty and impulsive to sin (1:16). He has a greedy desire for it; for he not only lacks conscience and restraint, but he also lasciviously craves sin (Eph 4:19). Revenge is sweet to him, and he races to exact vengeance. He is often in trouble, as he speedily goes from sin to sin.

If you have a temper, it is your duty to rule it, or your quick anger will offend the holy God (14:29; 16:32; Jas 1:19-21). Stay away from angry persons, for they will lead you to sin (22:24-25; 29:22). Are you cautious and slow in dealings, or do you rush impetuously ahead (19:2,11; 22:3)? If you have sinned in the past, then turn, run away, and stay away!

The all-seeing eyes of Jehovah are looking for faithful men, for He will put forth His might to bless them (II Chr 16:9; Ps 34:11-16). Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (4:23). Love the true God with all your heart (Deut 6:4-5). Keep your feet in the way of understanding (21:19). Do not go near the strange woman (5:8). Avoid the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13).

(19) a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Here are two of seven things and persons God hates (6:16-19). He hates liars who falsely witness against others, and He hates pests who cause division in a church. He could have said He hated the lies and discord, but He clearly said He hates the ones doing these sins.

God is holy (Is 6:3; Rev 4:8). He hates sin (8:13; Heb 1:9). He is too holy to love sin or sinners (Job 15:5; Hab 1:13). He hates sinners (Ps 5:4-6; 11:4-7; 139:21-22). In spite of effeminate objections, God hates sin and sinners. The Sunday school lie that God hates sin but loves the sinner is false. God hates sinners, and here He lists two of them.

He will tell the wicked in the last day that He never knew them – He never loved them (Matt 7:23; 13:47-50). He will tell them to get lost, and rightly so! He loves and accepts only those He made holy through Jesus Christ – His beloved elect (Eph 1:3-6; Rom 9:15).

Men bark against this holy doctrine, but let God be true! Does He love Satan, too? They don’t fret about the devil, because their profane and vain babbling is pure selfish pride and love for themselves. They are too arrogant to submit to a holy and sovereign God.

The LORD said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Ex 20:16). God hates this sin much, so He included it in the summary list of ten. He knew the terrible damage a wicked mouth could do to others, and how little defense there is against it, so He condemned it forcefully (19:5,9; 25:18; Ex 23:1; Zech 8:17). The Bible strongly attacks lying, false accusing, slandering, whispering, backbiting, and talebearing.

When men are tried for their lives, freedom, or fortune, it is imperative witnesses tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so our nation solemnly swears them to this duty before taking testimony or cross-examination. God required at least two witnesses in all cases to protect from false testimony (Deut 19:15); if a man testified falsely in Israel, he was punished with the very judgment at stake, no matter how horrible (Deut 19:16-21).

A lying and false accusing mouth can cause enormous harm, for rape of reputation and character is surely worse than that of the body (Ps 35:11-12). Physical violence is horrible, but allows for some defense and recovery; verbal slander and false accusations are worse, and there is very little defense with long lasting damage.

Readers beloved of God, it is your duty to be men and women of truth and principle (Ex 18:21). Carefully consider your thoughts, words, and intent before saying anything about others. Let your lips praise others rather than detract from them, and if you ever must testify of or for another, be scrupulously faithful and honest with every word (14:5).

God also loves unity, especially among His people (Ps 133:1-3; I Cor 1:10; Eph 4:3-4). He hates those who openly or subtly disturb fellowship and peace (6:12-15; 16:28; 26:20; Rom 16:17-18). He condemns variance, debate, envy, implacability, emulations, evil surmising, strife, sedition, tumults, and whispering. Instead He commands and commends peace (Matt 5:9; II Cor 13:11; Phil 3:16; Col 3:15; Jas 3:17-18).

A chord is harmonious blending of coordinated notes; accord is agreement and harmony; and concord is the state of peace and agreement between parties. All three words are related, meaning agreement, harmony, and peace. But discord is an antonym, meaning absence of concord or harmony. It is disagreement, variance, dissension, and strife. Is your church as harmonious as it should be? Do you labor to make all notes blend?

Wicked persons sow discord when they disrupt the harmony, agreement, unity, and peace of a church or other society by spreading the poison of division and enmity. They alienate the affections of men and stir up their passions against one another. They foment strife, contention, jealousies, and confusion by talebearing, insinuations, foolish questions, seditious doubts, forming of cliques, and other perverse means. These separatists are sensual enemies of true saints, and they have not the Spirit (Jude 1:19).

Beloved reader, let us be the peacemakers our Saviour blessed (Matt 5:9). Take every opportunity to promote unity and agreement; work hard to keep yourself and others in harmony with the congregation. Let us seek peace and pursue it (I Pet 3:11). Make the holy endeavour of peace and reconciliation a priority in your life (Eph 4:3; Matt 5:23-24).

Consider well our blessed Lord and His perfect conduct in light of these two sins. The Jews used false witnesses to condemn Jesus to death (Matt 26:59), but He is the faithful and true witness (Rev 3:14; 19:11). The wicked Jews divided over Jesus and stirred up the Gentiles against the apostles (John 9:16; Acts 14:2), but the Prince of Peace destroyed Jew/Gentile enmity and made both one by His cross (Is 9:6; John 11:52; Eph 2:11-22)!

SIN

KEEP THE HELL OUT OF YOU!

 


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 25:7 It is better for him to say to you, “Come up here” than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman

Humility will win the favor of God and men. Humility is crucial to be a great Christian, a successful leader, a gracious person, or a man with friends. True humility never presumes on the activities, approval, or presence of others. It is far better to be invited than to invite yourself, because you may and should be rejected on the basis of such presumption. Let others make you important rather than trying to do so yourself (Pr 25:27; 27:2).

Only half of the proverb is here. These words are the explanation and reward for taking a humble approach in public gatherings. The first half declares, “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men.” Solomon taught humility by teaching good manners for social events. It is better to take a back seat and be invited forward than to take a front seat and be asked to move back in front of those present.

The Lord Jesus Christ used the same illustration for humility, when He saw proud guests at a meal choosing the better seats (Luke 14:7-10). With greater detail than Solomon, as a parable is more detailed than a proverb, Jesus described the public shame of being asked to move lower versus the public honor of being asked to move higher! He concluded by declaring that He would reward humility and punish pride (Luke 14:11). Beware!

While the shame of public dishonor and rejection makes the proverb potent and valuable, the pride of your soul is what must be identified and eliminated. Proud actions that offend others are merely the symptoms of an arrogant spirit and haughty heart. True humility begins in the soul, where you admit your worthlessness before God and commit yourself to serving others rather than expecting or demanding them to honor and serve you.

How are you in group discussions? Can you calmly and patiently listen to others speak, or are you agitated with the need to talk? What about one-on-one conversations? Must you respond to every statement with one of your own? Why is it crucial for you to speak? Why do you feel the need? You are violating the principle of humility taught by this proverb. You should remain silent in most cases until your opinion is specifically sought.

Consider a more distant application of this principle of humility and reservation taught by the proverb. If you are allowed the privilege to use a company expense account while traveling or for other assignments or perks in a job, you should always choose a less expensive place to eat and menu item than a more expensive place and costlier menu item. This choice is crucial for the character of a Joseph or Daniel necessary for success, and it will endear you to those over you approving the bills. They will trust you with more and tell you later to spend more. Many men cannot grasp such simple wisdom.

Your success requires humility and meekness. God Himself will surely bring you down, if you do not hate pride, arrogancy, and presumption (Pr 8:13; 15:25; 16:5; Job 40:9-14). Men will reject you for friendship or business, for most men resent a haughty spirit (Pr 13:10; 26:12,16; 28:11). And you will make costly mistakes, for pride is blinding and deceitful by its presumptions (Pr 11:2; 16:18; 29:23). Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and He will exalt you soon enough (Pr 18:12; Jas 4:10; I Pet 5:6).


Under Gods Command

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Paul’s farewell blessing invokes all three members of the Trinity: Father (God), Son (Lord Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. Although the term Trinity is not explicitly used in Scripture, verses such as this one show that it was believed and experienced through knowing God’s grace, love, and fellowship. See Luke 1:35—the angel Gabriel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary; Matthew 3:17—the Father’s voice heard at the baptism of Jesus; and Matthew 28:19—Jesus’ commission to the disciples.

Paul was dealing with an ongoing problem in the Corinthian church. He could have refused to communicate until they cleared up their situation, but he loved them and reached out to them again with the love of Christ.

Lets Bring it Home: Love, however, means that sometimes we must confront those we care about. Both authority and personal concern are needed in dealing with people who are ruining their lives with sin. But there are several wrong approaches in confronting others, and these can further break relationships rather than heal them. We can be legalistic and blast people away with the laws they should be obeying. We can turn away from them because we don’t want to face the situation. We can isolate them by gossiping about their problem and turning others against them as well. Or, like Paul, we can seek to build relationships by taking a better approach—sharing, communicating, and caring. This is a difficult approach that can drain us emotionally, but it is the best way for other people, and it is the only Christlike way to deal with others’ sin.


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Wicked friends will destroy you. If you want to grow in wisdom and godliness, you must avoid foolish companions. Paul wrote, evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor 15:33). Solomon soberly warned his son to stay far away from evil men (Pr 4:14-15). Their hearts are controlled by sin and their thoughts dedicated to it (Pr 4:16-17).

Good and evil are opposites, and good men and evil men are also opposites. They are perpetual enemies (Pr 29:27). Wise and just men choose to live successful lives, and God blesses them with light (Pr 4:18). Foolish and wicked men live in darkness, stumbling through a dysfunctional life by the blindness of arrogant and ignorant hearts (Pr 4:19).

There are two kinds of people on earth – the righteous and the wicked. While the wicked may perform outward acts that appear good, those acts come from a heart that is only evil in God’s sight (Ps 14:1-3; Rom 3:9-18). While the righteous may sometimes live foolishly, yet they have a righteous heart that is vexed by sin (Ps 73:16-22; II Pet 2:7-8).

This proverb and the next are Solomon’s warning about the depraved character of wicked men (Pr 4:16-17). Mischief and wickedness are more important to them than sleep. They cannot rest nor be content unless they have corrupted or hurt others. Wickedness and violence are their bread and wine. They must eat them every day to satisfy their hunger!

There are no neutral men. Righteous men are the followers of Jesus Christ and godliness, and wicked men are the captive slaves of Satan and sin. Men either base their lives on the absolute terms of the Bible, or they base them on the world’s lies received from the devil. It is this great antagonism that makes worldly friends impossible for dedicated Christians.

The NEA, ACLU, PTA, NOW, MTV, CNN, FNN, UN, PETA, ECM, AFL-CIO, UAW, USA, DNC, RNC, and organizations of this world are dedicated to the overthrow of Bible Christianity. They work day and night for mischief and to cause men to fall from righteousness and truth. They cannot sleep until they get rid of Jesus Christ, His disciples, and His doctrine from the earth. Take a strong stand on any Bible subject and find out!

You must measure your friends and associates carefully and strictly and reject those that do not meet God’s high standards, like David did (Ps 15:4; 101:3-8; 119:63,79). And Solomon taught the same (Pr 9:6; 13:20; 14:7; 19:27). Some of these sinful threats to your success may be family members, but DNA and earthly blood ties matter very little to God or true disciples (I Sam 23:17; II Chr 15:16; Matt 10:34-37; Luke 14:25-33).

The God of heaven and the wisest of men command you to avoid the world, reject their opinions, despise their lifestyle, and hate their offers (Ps 101:3-8; Rom 12:1-2; II Cor 6:14-18; Eph 5:7-13; Jas 4:4; I John 2:15-17). No matter how subtle the insinuation or seductive the temptation against the absolute authority of the Bible, you must turn away with all your strength to avoid being corrupted (I Cor 15:33; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:1-5).


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride brings him low. But a man of lowly spirit gains honor. 

Are you going up or down in life? A simple factor will either lift you up or press you down – your pride. Arrogance will bring you low, but humility will get you honor. It is your choice what you decide today, but you cannot stop the certain punishment for pride.

Are you more a prince or a prisoner? Are you honored or hardly known? Every person wants a successful life, and this simple proverb tells you how. One of the greatest influences in your progress is your attitude about yourself. If you are haughty and proud, you are going down. If you are meek, modest, and reserved, you are going up.

King Solomon warned often against pride, though he had reasons to be proud. He had the most wisdom, wealth, and power, and he was attractive. But he blasted pride as an evil that destroys men’s lives. He warned his son and his citizens. The many repetitions in his book of wisdom declare loudly – this subject is important and tends to be overlooked.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Pr 16:18). “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Pr 11:2). “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility” (Pr 18:12). “Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Pr 26:12).

How will pride take you down and humility bring you honor? Men hate arrogance, and they love graciousness (Pr 9:6-9; 11:2; 14:3; 21:24; 22:10-11). If you are conceited and haughty, you will not grow in favor with men; they will do what they can to cut you off from friendships and opportunities. If you are meek, modest, and submissive, men will appreciate and enjoy your spirit and do what they can to include and promote you.

How will pride take you down and humility bring you honor? Conceit and haughtiness lead to bad decisions, because you are too arrogant to hear others, and you are too confident to criticize your ideas (Pr 11:2; 12:15; 14:16; 16:25; 22:3; 26:12,16; 29:20). You are doomed! A humble man, who trusts the Lord, doubts his opinions and is eager to hear the views of others (Pr 3:5-7; 6:6; 11:14; 12:15; 15:32; 19:20). He will prosper!

How will pride take you down and humility bring you honor? If the first two results do not bring you down (they will eventually), the final result most surely will. God hates the proud, and it does not matter how much effort they make to protect themselves – He will destroy them (Pr 3:34; 6:16-17; 15:25; 16:2,5; 21:2; Job 40:9-14; Dan 4:37; Acts 12:21-23). But God will bless and exalt the humble in spirit (Pr 3:34; Is 57:15; 66:2).

Contrary to Solomon’s inspired wisdom, the world considers pride a virtue and defends conceit. From athletes to actresses to politicians, bloated egos and haughty words are the norm. Children are taught self-esteem and self-love until they are convinced the universe revolves around them. All ages now boldly announce, “I am proud of what I have accomplished,” though anything they are or have is a gift from God (I Cor 4:7).

All men should be taught to love and serve others, for that is the second commandment of only two that summarize the whole Christian religion (Mark 12:28-33). The heresy of loving and esteeming self is a symptom of perilous times (II Tim 3:1-2). Wisdom learns that making others more important than you is a rule for true godliness (Phil 2:3-5).

Every person has an internal enemy that promotes pride – called the pride of life (I John 2:15-17). The devil seeks to tempt your human default to pride. He told Eve she could be like God for eating the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:4-6). He dared Jesus Christ to prove He was God’s Son, trying to draw forth pride, but He found nothing in Him (Matt 4:5-7).

How can you check if you are proud? How cheerfully do you take correction? Can you quickly admit you are wrong and apologize? How easily do you forgive others? Do you criticize others verbally, for proud words come from a proud heart? Is it easy to serve others, especially those lower than you? Do you question whether you are right or not?

What is in your heart? Sinful thoughts of ambition and pride that condemned the devil (I Tim 3:6)? Or the childlike humility that led to Solomon’s greatness (I Kgs 3:6-9)? The greatest kingdom is Jesus Christ’s, but the greatest in it are the servants (Matt 23:10-12). If you humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, He will exalt you soon (I Pet 5:6-7).

If you want to pursue this subject further, and you should, review sermons an honest man of God has preached from the Bible against pride. Scripture has much to say against it, so faithful preachers must preach against it periodically. Remember, your future depends on you learning this lesson. Pride will bring you low, but humility will bring you honor.

The Man and King with the most right to pride was Jesus Christ, but He was known for incredible humility and meekness instead (Matt 11:29; Phil 2:5-8; II Cor 10:1). He never promoted Himself, though He had the most reasons to do so (Is 42:1-2; Mat 12:18-20). Of course, He is now honored above all in heaven, confirming Solomon’s proverb!


Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

The aroma, odor, or scent of good cologne or perfume can bring deep pleasure to your soul through your olfactory nerves (Pr 7:17; Ps 45:7-8; Song 1:3; 3:6; 4:10). Scent is a powerful sense. The effect is immediate and strong. In the same way, a good and honest friend can lift your spirit and cause great pleasure by sincere and profitable advice. This is an observation of Solomon. Do you have such friends? Are you such a friend?

Man by nature is selfish, and most friends pursue their own agenda and interests in their relationship with you (II Tim 3:1-2; Titus 3:3). They do not tell you this directly, but they talk far more about themselves than inquire about you. They love you for your ears! Their talk is self-centered, superficial, and without tangible value for your soul. They eat with you, banter with you, and flatter you, but they do not truly serve you for your own good.

Most friends are little more than acquaintances. They tell you about their circumstances, and they may even inquire about and listen to yours. They send you a birthday and anniversary card, and you return the same to them. They consider mutual flattery and your companionship when they need it to be sweet, but they know little to nothing of the sweetness described in this proverb. If you lose your health, position, or wealth, they are not nearly as friendly; they may even disappear (Pr 14:20; 19:4,7; Ps 38:11).

Great friends do much more (Pr 17:17; 18:24; I Sam 18:3; 20:17). They are more interested in your profit than their pleasure, your perfection than their peace. They understand true love – the sacrificial desire for your prosperity in soul and body. Hard times in your life do not drive them away from you; hard times draw them closer to you: they know they can fill a greater role and help you more in difficulty than in success.

What is hearty counsel? It is counsel from the heart – genuine, sincere, and affectionate. It is counsel filled with goodwill and kindly sentiment, warm with affection and friendly feelings. It is the opposite of superficial chatter, foolish banter, selfish exchanges, or evil flattery. And it is more than advice and instruction, no matter how true and valuable. Sympathetic understanding is a balm for the soul (Rom 12:15; Job 2:11-12; 42:11).

How is it sweet? It is rare, comforting, and provocative to the soul. It stirs the spirit with confidence, goodwill, hope, joy, and thanksgiving. As pleasant odors can stir the body, so hearty counsel pleasantly enlivens the soul. Pleasures are far better shared, and sorrows must be shared (Eccl 4:9-12). Most measure friendship as sweet depending on what they take from the relationship. But that is not true with godly friends (Matt 7:12; Acts 20:35).

Jonathan and David were the greatest friends in the Bible. They met after David killed Goliath and became Israel’s hero. Though the heir apparent of Israel’s throne, Jonathan loved David for his courage, graciousness, and godliness. While other men would have envied and hated David, Jonathan loved him as his own soul (I Sam 18:1-3). The affection and loyalty were so fervent that Jonathan covenanted his life and service to David, and David covenanted to protect Jonathan’s family (I Sam 18:4; 19:1-2; 20:9-17).

When fleeing for his life from King Saul, David often hid in obscure places for safety. Jonathan, though the king’s son and heir to the throne (I Sam 20:30-31), and though a mighty man of valor himself (I Sam 14:1-17), went into the woods and encouraged David in the Lord (I Sam 23:16). Jonathan reminded David of God’s faithfulness and promised his own. He lifted David up from spiritual discouragement and heartily comforted him. How sweet that friendship and counsel was to both of them that day in the wood!

Consider the counsel Jonathan gave David (I Sam 23:17). He first said, There is no reason to fear my father; God will deliver you (Ps 27:1-14). Then he said, You will be the next king, because God will keep His promise (I Sam 16:13). Third, he humbly submitted to God’s choice of David and promised his devotion and service (Pr 17:17). And fourth, he told David that his father knew he had chosen David over him (I Sam 20:30-31).

Was this friendship and counsel sweet to David? The answer is clear (I Sam 23:18). They made a covenant together before the LORD. Jonathan promised his loyalty and service to David above his father and Israel’s throne; David promised Jonathan his desired position and the perpetual care of his family. How sweet the friendship and counsel was to David! He counted Jonathan’s love greater than the love of any of his wives (II Sam 1:26).

Jonathan was not David’s only friend. This virtuous man had many friends. Consider Ittai the Gittite, one of many of the best of the Philistines that chose treason against their nation to spend their lives serving David (II Sam 15:16-23). Consider Hiram king of Tyre, who did favors for David and his son out of love to him (I Kgs 5:1; II Sam 5:11).

There are other friends in the Bible. Consider Jehu and Jehonadab purging Baal worship from Israel (II Kgs 10:15-28). Do you know of Paul and Timothy and the building of New Testament churches among the Gentiles (Acts 16:1-3; Phil 2:19-22; II Tim 1:1-5)?

Have you read of Aquila and Priscilla giving hearty counsel to Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)? Andrew was a true friend to Peter (John 1:40-42), and Philip to Nathaniel (John 1:43-51). What of Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17; 3:1-5; 4:13-17) and Luke and Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1)? And Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Jesus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11:1-46)? And you cannot forget the hearty counsel that Jethro gave Moses (Ex 18:1-23).

Hearty counsel includes rebukes and warnings. David wrote, “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities” (Ps 141:5). Kind correction by one who desires your perfection is sweet and true friendship. Contrary to the world’s ideas, true love corrects sin (Le 19:17). Godly men desire wounds of a friend more than kisses of an enemy, and open rebuke is better than secret love (Pr 27:5-6).

David had many wives, but he only had one great friend among them. Who was it? Not his first love, Michal, for she despised his intense love of God and His worship (II Sam 6:20-23). Not the mother of Solomon, Bathsheba, for she participated in the heinous sin of adultery with him (II Sam 11:1-5). It was Abigail, who heartily warned him against ruining his reputation by the murder of her wicked husband (I Sam 25:1-44). How sweet was this counsel? He blessed her and married her as soon as she was available!

Where are such friends found? They are very rare, but they are found among the disciples of Jesus Christ, who have learned true friendship from their Lord and Master (John 13:34-35; 15:11-17). These rare Christians are in the true churches of Jesus Christ, where the Holy Spirit and the Word of God have molded men’s hearts to be the sacrificing, serving, sensitive, and sympathetic friends that this proverb describes (Phil 1:3-5). After all, the blood and doctrine of Jesus Christ are by far the tightest bonds of all among men.

How do you learn such friendship? By the fear of the Lord, the love of Jesus Christ, walking in the Holy Spirit, and the practice of I Corinthians 13:4-7! It is these ingredients and these alone that will make you a heart-rejoicing friend. There are no shortcuts. Neglect one of these factors, and you will be a vain friend (Pr 18:24). You have the ability to relate to other men (Pr 27:19), and you must use it to improve them (Pr 27:17).

There is no room for selfishness, self-protection, or self-promotion in true friendship. You must be willing to expose yourself to your friend in order to help him. How else can you comfort him when he is in trouble “by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Cor 1:4)? The apostle instructed, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another” (Jas 5:16). Can you develop this heart of a true friend?

How important are such friends? They should be esteemed and protected above your own family members (Pr 27:10). Great efforts must be made to avoid offences (Pr 18:19). Solomon kept Hiram as a good friend, who had always been a lover of David (I Kgs 5:1-18). But foolish and profane Rehoboam forsook his father Solomon’s friends for his own ignorant buddies and lost the majority of the kingdom to his enemy (I Kgs 12:1-20).

Dear reader, will you add the precious odor of true friendship to this vile world? Or will you add the stench of selfish insensitivity? Will you make your way to the house of God and find this soul communion among the saints of God? If your church lacks this kind of friendship, then show them how it is done. And honor those that do it to you. There is no friend like Jesus Christ, so begin by cultivating your relationship with Him.