How to avoid misery.

stressProverbs 27:12  “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.”

     A prudent or wise person is able to see the evil around him.   

Some foolish people are not even able to see the dangers around.   A foolish man might say, “I can enjoy much of the worlds entertainment and pleasures and they won’t hurt me or my family.”  But he never realizes how spiritually dull he actually becomes, how worldly his kids become, or how his hunger for more sin is fed through that “innocent” entertainment or activity until it becomes insatiable.

     A prudent person hides himself.

First he must notice it and then he must do something about it.   Like a person who might see a band of thugs coming down the street beating and shooting people, and he hides from them so he doesn’t get beat or shot, the wise person sees the danger of more subtle things in this world and hides.  He gets away from them before they destroy him.

     The naïve continue.

A naïve person is a simple person, one who simply doesn’t get it.  He doesn’t understand what is going on around him.  Satan has blinded the eyes of the people of this world,

 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them ” (2 Cor. 4.4).  “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you. (1 Pet.4:3,4)

It is true that a naive person can’t see simple dangers, but it is even more true that he can’t see the moral and spiritual implications of his actions in this world.   This person will be told of the dangers but will always have an argument for why he think his desires are harmless.

Children are born in this state of naivety and it is the responsibility of parents to train them to be wise.

 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; But the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Prov. 22:15)

Pity the child whose parents can not train him because they themselves are still naive.

     There is a serious price to be paid.

Sometimes is is a personal price paid in lack of success in life, in financial troubles, or in school or a job.  However, the spiritual and moral weight of this price is often seen in broken relationship, habitual sins which trap and destroy a person, or general misery as a person can never attain the peace and joy he seeks in life.



Wickedness is like sport to a fool — the hypocrisy of gun control

“Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, and so is wisdom to a man of understanding.”

 Proverbs 10:23

Our nation’s capital is brimming with wickedness and fools.   They are there partially because other wicked fools put them there.  Many who voted to put them there were made pawns through their own failure to think and their overwhelming covetousness.

Proverbs tells us that a fool considers wickedness to be a game, a sport.  Oh how true of the D.C. crowd.  Little exceeds the wickedness of abortion and this week the government released some sad figures.

Planned Parenthood received $542,000,000.00 ($542 million) of tax payers’ dollars last year.  This half billion dollars account for 45% of their income.  With this American tax payer income Planned Parenthood performed 330,964 murders (abortions), one murder every 94 seconds.

How do I know that it is sport, a game to them?   Well because these bombastic fools turn around and preach that we need gun control to protect children.   On average a little over 300 “children” are killed each year by people with guns.  That’s about the same number of children as who are killed on bicycles!   Notice the word “children” is in quotes.  This is because the word “children” includes all the 16 and 17 year olds who are killed in gang fights, drug wars, and shot by old ladies during home invasions.   It’s a little hard to classify these miscreant young adults as “children”, but in the game politics it is what D.C. does. It is also a little hard to believe that they are serious about protecting the innocent of our land when they so vociferously fight to protect and promote the so called “right” to murder children.

Volumes could be written about the sport our leaders make of wickedness, but what about the second part of the verse?  “Wisdom is like sport to a man of understanding”.   We who know the Lord also have the Word and the Spirit.  This should result in conviction, understanding, and wisdom.  We ought to get mad about sin.  I’m often criticized for criticizing wickedness.   To be angry over sin, especially in our leaders is right.    But anger is not enough, we must apply wisdom to our own lives and to the world that is so enamored with the sport of sin.

It is true that the only real hope for this world is the Gospel of Jesus, but it is also true that part or proclaiming Jesus is declaring sin to be sin, and an offense to God.   A simple (hyperbole), full proof, three step plan for changing America might look like this:

1)            Christians stop living materialist, lustful, selfish lives.  Repent and seek God’s holiness.

2)            Out of passion for God’s holiness, start proclaiming sin to be sin all around them.

3)            Give people to Good News of Hope through forgiveness by the blood of Jesus.

At this point I’m afraid that the brand of Christianity we have around here won’t get past the first step.  I’m not condemning all Christians, or anyone on a personal level.  I am however, pointing out the general hypocrisy and materialism of the American church in general.  Lord have mercy I pray!

Pondering Proverbs

Proverbs 30:7-9 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:  (8)  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  (9)  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.


Tis the season…of materialism.  This is a good passage to consider during the current season covetousness and materialism.  The wise man is asking something of God.   The word “required” is not the best translation and it rubs me wrong to think that man can require anything of God.  According to the BDB lexicon the word means “to ask, inquire  borrow, or beg”.

The wise man is asking God for two things: 1) to be kept from worthless deceptive thinking, and 2) to be neither rich, nor poor, but have his needs met. The two things for which he asks are interconnected.  If a person is affected by the deceptive lies of the world, he may very well begin to feel that he cannot be happy unless he has more stuff, and so he desires to be rich.   If he cannot be rich he may easily become discontent with his own state as he observes others around him living in greater luxury.  So the wise man asks that he be kept from this vain or empty thinking which is actually a lie.   Our world, Christian’s included, has been deceived by the lie that we need stuff to be happy.  Parents are training their kids in this thinking by giving them more stuff all the time.   We need to recognize the deceit and the emptiness of it all and plead with God for help.

The wise man then asks that God will give him just enough.   He recognizes the danger in having too much or too little.   He says, “lest I be full, and deny thee”.   Yes, it does seem to be a truth that people who have their needs met in excess, fail to depend on God.   This may be the reason America is in such deplorable moral condition.  We are all rich in America.  The poor have TVs, cable for their TV, nice places to live, plenty of food, heat, clothing, and even cell phones.  Why should anyone depend on God?

When people don’t have to depend on God they go one step further and deny or despise Him because of the moral law He holds them to.  People like to think that they believe in God, but the God of their imaginations is not the God of the Bible.  May God grant us clear minds, undeceived by worldly thinking and give us what we need.

Pondering Proverbs

Proverbs 29:27

An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.

This short little snippet of wisdom captures much of the mood of our day.   The unjust person is one who is guilty of injustice.  He breaks the law, God’s or man’s.  This is called an abomination, which means to feel disgust or repugnance towards someone or something.

The second half of the verse states the opposite truth which is that the person who is upright is disgusting to a wicked person.      This phrase hits home for bible believers because others are disgusted by our bible believing ways.  For instance numerous people are disgusted by what the Bible says about wives submitting to their husbands, women being excluded from the office of pastor, condemnation of sexual sin and homosexuality, modesty, and you get the point.

As long as sin reigns in this world, and the prince of the power of the air is on his thrown (that’s Satan, Eph.2:2), good will be called evil and evil will be called good.  Those who believe and stand for biblical truth will be abhorred by those who love evil.  And while we must not hate the person who sins, we are right to abhor and hate the sin itself.

So go ahead and get yourself worked up into a tizzy over all the sin around you, I think God will be pleased.  And don’t worry about it if you are hated for it.

Pondering Proverbs

 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

Proverbs 13:11

The word vanity in this verse means “vapor” and “figuratively refers to that which is unsubstantial, fleeting, or amount to nothing” (NET Bible).  The word diminished means to get smaller.   The idea seems to be that when we get something easily and don’t have to work for it, we don’t treat that thing the same way as something we have had to work for.   It’s “easy come, easy go”.    On the other hand, a person who has had to work very hard for everything he has tends to value even the little things.

So we see young people who leave the lights on when exiting a room, or who don’t close the door when it’s cold outside because they don’t grasp the value of money and paying for electric and heat.    But it’s not just young people.   I used to rent some apartments in which I ,as the landlord, paid for the heat and I would find that the heat was turned up to 80 in the living room but bedroom windows were open.   They didn’t care because they didn’t have to pay for the heat.    I fixed that situation quickly by installing separate heaters in each apartment and making the tenants pay.   That helped for a while, until they realized that they could sign up for some kind of heating assistance program, then they didn’t have to pay and were once again careless about closing doors and windows. Another thing I’ve noticed is the carelessness with which some people treat expensive electonics.  “If it breaks” they say “I’ll just buy another one” or “my parents will buy me another one”.

The irony is that while people come by things easily and enjoy a life of relative ease, they often have very little of real value and they live weak to weak, check to check, hand to mouth, always short on money, always complaining that other people have more.   They don’t know of the satisfaction and joy there is in having a little but knowing that their own hard labor earned it (Read Ecclesiastes).

This proverb points out that the person who labors and doesn’t get his things for free or easily tends to accumulate wealth little by little.   He doesn’t start out rich and he never lives like a rich person, but as the years pass he becomes more comfortable.    He lives in a house that is paid for, he drives cars that are paid for, he does not have debt on credit cards, and he has some savings so that when a furnace quits working or the car needs an overhaul, he can pay for it without panic or without troubling other people for help.    This is the person who is in a position to help others who are in true need.   But why would he want to help a person pay to get their car fixed when the person in need sits around watching cable TV on a giant flat panel while talking on a smart phone and shopping online at Amazon for the latest coolest rags, all paid for with money that they didn’t earn.    Don’t laugh, these people are your neighbors.   Much more could be said, especially from Ecclesiastes, but I’ll wait to hear your reply.


Pondering Proverbs

Today I wish to begin what I hope to be a fairly regular part of this blog, “Pondering Proverbs”.    These will be short posts focusing on just  one or two verses in Proverbs.  What would make this useful and interesting would be if others would post comments so that we could interact with one another.   Please read and enjoy.

There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword:

But the tongue of the wise is health.

Proverbs 12: 18

We all know that the tongue can be a dangerous weapon.   This proverb notes that some people use their tongue like a sword.  When they open their mouth people are wounded.   Sometimes this is intentional and rooted in anger, bitterness, or hatred.    However, it is often rooted in selfishness as well.   Self centered people use words to build themselves up but cutting other people down.   This is as natural to the sinful fallen nature as learning to walk and children may be observed doing so very early.

The piercing tongue is placed in contrast with this other kind of tongue, that which brings health, or possibly that which heals where swords have pierced.   We all enjoy being close to these people because they don’t make us feel threatened, attacked, or hurt in anyway.   Just the opposite is true, they make us feel better.   They are positive, uplifting, and edifying.    They direct attention away from themselves and toward God and others.   This is a wise person and a Christ like person.   Strive to be that person.