Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 5:15-21 – Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.

Love your wife! Make love to her only! Make your marriage the hottest in the world! You have no right to any other woman. You should not look on another woman, think about another woman, flirt with another woman, or ever touch another woman sexually.

Go for it! Today! This is God’s plan and will for your life. He wants you to have a great sex life with your great wife. “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” (Pr 5:19).

The true God knows life can be empty and frustrating, so He gave you one of His greatest gifts of creation: “Enjoy life with you wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun” (Eccl 9:9).

God created love, sex, and every aspect of the woman you need – your wife. He knows you need and want sex, so He chose the woman that is your wife to practice with until you are perfectly satisfied. All other women are off limits. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Heb 13:4).

The Bible is the perfect love, marriage, and sex manual. God invented sex, so He has perfect knowledge about it. Have you read the Bible and heard it preached to maximize your marriage? If you have read and heard it preached, have you submitted to God’s sovereign, providential choice of your wife and His orders for how you should treat her?

Water, a precious blessing in the dry climate of the Middle East, is here a metaphor for sexual pleasure with a woman. Water satisfies thirst, is necessary for survival, and is very pleasing to a thirsty soul (Pr 25:25). Men drew fresh water from wells; they stored extra water in cisterns. Every man needed his own supply to protect himself and his family.

Men need the water of sexual pleasure, for God put a great desire and need in them for it (Gen 2:18; Deut 21:11; I Cor 7:2,5,9). Any exceptions confirm this well-known rule rather than modify or nullify it (Matt 19:10-12; I Tim 4:3; I Cor 9:5). Men will have sex one way or another, but God condemns all other creatures but one – your wife.

Men also crave food by God’s design, and they desire and enjoy His blessing of wine (Ps 104:14-15; Eccl 9:7), but drinking and eating without limitation or discipline are sin and folly (Pr 23:20). Men must hate and reject drunkenness or gluttony, and they should never forget that breaking God’s rules for sexual water is sin and deserves judgment.

A man’s own wife is a great gift from God, for which he should be thankful (Pr 18:22; 19:14). Consider Jacob: “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her” (Gen 29:20). A man may drink deeply of sexual pleasure from his own wife only, not from any other woman, single or married.

No man should even consider the cisterns or wells of others, for the wife God picked for him is more than enough for his needs and happiness. To think upon the cisterns and wells of others is to sin and open the door for great folly (Pr 6:25; Job 31:1; Matt 5:28). Any woman is more than enough for any man, and God chose your wife for just you.

Are you disappointed or frustrated in your marriage? Do you agree with what has been written, but you personally are not experiencing it? Are you thirsty, and your wife seems to have run dry? Or you can see the water, but you seldom or never taste any of it? Is the water of your cistern and well now somewhat lukewarm and putrid, not appealing at all?

If the water supply at home is lacking in any way, maybe the pump needs priming. How do you prime the pump to bring forth running water? Treat your wife the way the Creator of love, sex, marriage, and women told you to treat her. It is that simple. God made her as perfect as a rose, but lack of sunshine, rain, soil, and nurture will cause her to close up.

God and Solomon order you to treat her as delicately and tenderly as a pet female deer, to be totally satisfied with her body, and to choose to greatly enjoy her lovemaking. “Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” (Pr 5:19). God knows your wife. Try His way.

Paul told you to love your wife and to cherish and nourish her, like you do your own body (Eph 5:25-29). King Solomon wrote a love song that describes the passion and details of lovers and lovemaking. Have you read the Song of Solomon? Have you tried talking to your wife and treating her the way that this man treated his lover wife?

The strong warning intended by this proverb to limit yourself to your own wife includes use of pornography, which foolishly steals visual pleasure from another woman, causes discontentment with your woman, and hurts your woman’s confidence or desire to ever be the lover you need and want. Your wife will be as hot as you choose or help her to be.

Every Christian woman, every daughter of God, should be careful and faithful in making sure her husband drinks deeply, often, and pleasantly, lest she drive him to wells that are not his, due to bitterness or dryness in his own cistern and well (I Co 7:2-5). Let husbands and wives, with the husband leading the way in love, maximize the pleasure of marriage.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 8:27 I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep

How important is wisdom? God had it when He created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). Lady Wisdom here encourages you to value wisdom highly because God does.

The modern and weak concept of Intelligent Design does not do the LORD justice, for He is infinitely wise with perfect understanding and creative genius far beyond mere intelligence or intellectual capacity. He is wise, and He calls you to be wise.

Intelligence, or fact calculation and application, falls short of wisdom. The only true God arranged and ordained every aspect of the universe when there had never been such a thing before. He also has the power of right judgment to discretely and prudently interact with other rational creatures. He inspired Solomon to write for you to get wisdom.

Who thought the earth was flat? The children of God have always known the earth was round. When the blessed and only Creator God formed the earth’s atmosphere, and when He wrapped it around the ball of water hanging in space, wisdom was there with Him. Lady Wisdom offers you wisdom today by this proverb and the rest of Gods scriptures. Will you accept her gracious offer (Pr 8:1-5,32-36; 9:1-12)?

How great is wisdom? After Lady Wisdom’s introduction and invitation (Pr 8:1-5), she described the excellence and truth of wisdom (Pr 8:6-11), the benefits that flow to those having it (Pr 8:12-21), and the presence and use of wisdom by God in the creation of the heavens and earth (Pr 8:22-31). She then concluded with a further invitation (Pr 8:32-36). Wisdom is the most precious thing you can obtain in life (Pr 3:13-20; 4:5-13; 8:10-11).

This proverb exalts wisdom by showing it was with God in the creation of the heavens and His arrangement of the heavens to circle and encompass the watery globe. God created the heavens, the earth, and light on the first day (Gen 1:1-5; Ex 20:11; 31:17). He created the earth’s atmosphere on the second day, which is the firmament of heaven that separated the water above the sky from the water covering the earth (Gen 1:6-8).

God created the universe. The interstellar and interplanetary spaces and the spherical globe of the earth were formed first (Gen 1:1). The earth was a formless ball covered with water hanging in the total darkness of space (Gen 1:2). God then added light, without light sources for three days, mind you, to complete the first day (Gen 1:3-5,14-19). The only big bang, if there was one, occurred when God said, “Let there be light:” – and there was light (Gen 1:3)! If God has given you faith, you understand it (Heb 11:3).

God created the earth’s atmosphere. He separated waters on the earth’s surface by an expanse called heaven, which we call atmosphere, in which birds and planes fly (Gen 1:6-8,20). He gathered the waters on the earth and under this atmosphere into seas on the third day (Gen 1:9). The waters above the atmosphere remained there for the 1,656 years before rain (Gen 2:5-6; 7:4; Heb 11:7). It was not until the Flood that rain appeared; it was not until after the Flood that rainbows appeared (Gen 7:11-12; 9:12-15).

The Lord compassed, or encircled, the earth with this atmospheric heaven as part of His creative work on the second day. Included in these first two days of creation was the ordination of gravity to hold the waters and the atmosphere around the earth. Though the earth spins at 1000 mph, the atmosphere that compasses the earth moves right along with the earth, so you are not blown away! From the vantage point of spacecraft, you can see the aqua blue ball suspended by nothing in the firmament of heaven. Give God the glory!

The word “compass” in this proverb describes the circle, circumference, curve, arc, ring, or round shape of the atmospheric heaven that God wrapped around the ball we call earth. He set a compass, or a circle, over the watery earth before there was land (Pr 8:29; Gen 1:3-5). Though Solomon wrote these words 1000 years before Christ, he knew the earth was round by God’s inspired revelation to him. Isaiah, writing by inspiration about 700 years before Christ, also referred to the circular or round shape of the earth (Is 40:22).

Eratosthenes (276-195 B.C.), a Greek mathematician who knew the earth was round, calculated its correct circumference and the tilt of its axis. Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543), who knew the earth was round, developed and promoted proofs for heliocentricism – the earth moves around the sun. Pope Urban VIII spanked Galileo (1564-1642) for endorsing such absurdities. But Newton (1643-1727) confirmed how a ball could keep us all feeling upright with gravity. But they were just refining old news!

What is the lesson of the proverb? If wisdom was with God in His creation of the heavens and the atmospheric curtain around the earth, then it is important enough for you! If God used wisdom to create the heavens and earth, then it would be a great thing to have for your decision-making! Are you committed to pursue wisdom? Is it more important to you than anything else? When was the last time you read the Bible? Heard a real sermon?

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is God in the flesh – the fullness of the Godhead in a human body (Col 2:3,9). He created all things, and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3; Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2)! He has all wisdom and knowledge as a perfect King, Priest, Savior, and coming Judge. Humble yourself before Him this day! Beg Him for mercy and wisdom!

Under Gods Command

 Proverbs 6:9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?

Sleep can be a dangerous thing, if you get too much of it, or if you like it too much. It is especially hazardous for young men, whom Solomon emphasized in writing Proverbs.

When do you get up? How do you get up? The time and manner in which you rise in the morning affects your success or failure in life. Great men get a head start on the day.

They attack every day as an opportunity, rather than dreading it as a punishment. There are other factors also, but love of your bed in the morning will squander your potential.

What a practical book! Those who think the Bible is irrelevant and an old theological dust collector have never read it. Solomon, the wisest and most successful king ever, knew the folly of youth and humanity, so he warned his son and you against loving sleep and sleeping too long (Pr 6:6-11; 10:5; 19:15; 20:13; 21:17; 23:21; 24:30-34).

Young men play hard and sleep hard. Since they have not had the weight of responsibility and burden of producing for a family, they will take every minute they can get under the covers before falling out and stumbling into a day. But they are not the only ones. Some older men think they deserve extra sleep because they have already worked hard in life.

Some women think they can make the day go away by staying in bed under warm covers. Cuddling with blankets helps them procrastinate and fantasize about not working. Instead they have fewer hours, less energy, and more to do when they get up. Young women, who play much of the day in today’s world, cannot imagine why they should ever get up.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” is credited to Benjamin Franklin, though it was a saying before he was born. Mark Twain, who thought that rising before 9:30 was a terrible evil, ridiculed Ben’s proverb. But God and Solomon had given the inspired rules 3000 years before. An early approach does lead to wisdom (Pr 8:17). And an early approach does lead to wealth (Pr 6:9-11; 20:13; 24:33-34).

Are you tired in the morning? Then go to bed earlier. Sleeping during prime time will not only help you rise in the morning, but it will also save you from the worst that Hollywood offers. Do you not sleep well at night? Then get on a schedule and allow yourself less sleep. All other things being equal, a laboring man will sleep very peacefully (Eccl 5:12).

Is it hard to get up in the morning? Build a habit and routine that is good for you. A strict schedule and routine help most people. Do not use a snooze button on your alarm clock. When it is time to get up, then get up, right then. Immediately take a shower or apply water to your face in some other way. Wake up! Get up! Get dressed! Get going! Life is short, why waste it in bed!  You need a sense of time urgency to attack days (Eccl 9:10)!

The world has conspired against the wisdom here. Daylight saving time provides more time for playing in the evenings and less sunshine for rising in the mornings. If saving daylight is important, why not save it in the morning by moving the clocks back an hour? Men could get a day’s work done before lunch. But men would much rather play late.

The proverb has a definite limit. Night and sleep are part of God’s plan for men. In fact, He does not want you going without pleasant sleep, thinking that success depends mainly on your efforts (Ps 127:1). He expects you to only apply this proverb within reason, for any efforts beyond that are vain and worthless; He wants you to sleep (Ps 127:2)!

Getting up early and not sleeping too long are only part of life. Once you get up, what will you do? God commands you to have a good job and be diligent at it (Rom 12:11; Eph 4:28; I Thess 4:11-12). This is the main intent here so you can follow the example of the industrious ant (Pr 6:6-8)! After work you have your other duties – marriage, children, parents, church, finances, house, neighbors, nation, exercise, and so forth.

There is a better reason to rise early. You can seek the Lord and wisdom then. You are sharper (once fully awake!). There are fewer outside or mental distractions. You will be interrupted less. It puts the priority on God and wisdom. It prepares your soul for the day. And it is Scriptural (Ps 5:3; 55:17; 119:147). Reading your Bible, praying, and meditating before anything else is the way to a successful life (Job 23:12; Ps 19:7-11; 119:103,127).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:3
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Love and faithfulness are important character qualities. Both involve actions as well as attitudes. A loving person not only feels love; he or she also acts loyally and responsibly. A faithful person not only believes the truth; he or she also works for justice for others. Thoughts and words are not enough. Our lives should reveal whether we are truly loving and faithful. We all should be asking ourselves, do our actions measure up to our attitudes?