Seeking Good, not Evil – Proverbs 11:27

He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,

But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.” – Proverbs 11:27

 

Like others before it, this proverb speaks about how when people pursue doing good or evil there is a fairly obvious outcome.

Let’s start with the assumption we were created by a loving God, Who made us to serve others and Him.

When we acknowledge that, seeking good deeds and the things of the Lord is obviously worthwhile, because it’s what God intended for us to do.

This sort of proverb makes sense if you think about it.

In general a person gets along much better with his family, friends, and work-mates if he seeks good and not evil deeds in life.

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When doing good for those around him, a person is going to be pleasantly surprised that he feels better for it. When he seeks the good, and is not selfishly after the praise, a person will be blessed relationally.
When one seeks to control his space and relationships with manipulation or acts with evil intents, he will find that sin has a way of always leaving a stain, a hurt, or loss in multiple ways.So what of evil? The promises of evil deeds are bountiful and enticing but do they deliver?

Now, what can we learn as Christians?

Christ’s way is always the better way. He modelled a servant’s attitude, and showed that it was the more blessed way to live. Seeking other’s good and building up others was always the model Jesus taught, and Paul echoed this in his letters. To seek our own advantage above our family’s or friends’ interests, is to invest in trouble and pain.

More reading: Philippians 2:1-11

-Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Link to the image site.

A Generous Hand (Part 2) – Proverbs 11:25

The generous soul will be made rich,

And he who waters will also be watered himself.

 

 

THIS POST IS GOING TO BE REWRITTEN. TAKE EVERYTHING I WRITE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.  

Being told to be generous without an explanation is not very pleasant for many, if not all of us.

This proverb does something different. It states the outcome of being generous. It says that the “generous soul” receives wealth.

The fact that the soul is mentioned here shows that merely giving something grudgingly does not show a generous spirit.

This proverb may be twisted like the previous one (and probably is) by televangelists who draw in their audience with soaring music and smooth tongues, asking them to give most generously to their massive “ministries” aka personal coffers.

This proverb assumes the reader is going to wisely give their money to worthwhile causes, even those without expected return.

It’s simply saying the giver’s freewill gift of money or time will be rewarded. It is not saying you will get back exactly an equal amount of wealth for your obedience, just that you will be blessed highly yourself.

It’s a lovely picture of pouring out your effort on others, and receiving back blessing and effort from God (possibly through others) in wonderful ways.

I like to think that God gives blessing to those who trust Him with their circumstances, when they give much to their ministry.

I know many ministries that run daily by God’s grace as those involved offer their generous efforts, watering and likewise being watered. It is a blessed thing to witness indeed. Amen.

This is dedicated to all the faithful ministries that in relying on God, they are incredibly blessed in so many ways.

THIS POST IS GOING TO BE REWRITTEN. TAKE EVERYTHING I WRITE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.  

Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

Are you offended by what I write, or because of God’s Word

If it’s because of my writing, I’m sorry. I can be harsh when talking about truth and lies. Hopefully you realise I am trying to be loving as well. I can’t apologise for God’s Word, though. Hopefully you are convicted and call on Christ to be your Saviour and King. Cheers.

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Diligent work is valued – On Proverbs 10:4-6

There are life lessons to be learned in Proverbs, and an often repeated one is the value of diligence. In two consecutive sayings we will see two aspects of diligence.

 

4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”

 

and

 

5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.”

 

In verse four, if we think this over, even if a person is in a high position in a company but has a lazy and uncaring attitude to work, that is going to affect his relations with his boss and he might get fired. Our society nowadays wants everyone to pull their weight, and in Solomon’s day it seems it was no different. It has always been considered a blessing to have a diligent worker who does their job well and efficiently.

 

Verse five deals with this issue during harvest time, the busiest time of the year for farmers. A wise son who knows the importance of that time of year will follow his parents out into the field to help. Having time off school work does not mean he can be slack in the hot weather. It’s certainly hard work harvesting the crop, so surely a rest under a tree during midday would be less stressful for you? Maybe so, but it’s an unscheduled stop and it is highly disrespectful if that is the son’s habit everyday. It’s a waving off of responsibility and compulsion to obey, and is shameful.

6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.”

 

It pays to wear head-wear that fits right and goes well with your clothes. Verse six deals with the results from the actions of the righteous and wicked. The results are pictured here as head-coverings.

The righteous lives by God’s Word and his adornment comes as a pleasing covering of blessings. The wicked has a bit of a harder time. His actions are evil and reflect a person who is forever bent on causing trouble and disunity. His hat is cumbersome and flows over his face with a thick cloth of violence. How annoying, hey? It does really pay to live the lifestyle that will bless you and not lead to violence. That right lifestyle comes from God. Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

 

Folly beckons the simple, too! – On Proverbs 9:13-18

A search for wisdom doesn’t come unhindered. There are other influences in one’s life that threaten that search. They can be good or bad, but are ultimately unhelpful. One bad and unhelpful influence is presented here, and she sure is a wily one. The foolish woman (it’s also been translated as “Folly”) uses tactics that wisdom uses, but has she the same value? What she says has a tiny grain of truth, but often the best lies have truth as the cover page.

 

13 A foolish woman is clamorous; she is simple, and knows nothing. 14 For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, 15 to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;”

 

A bit of inside information later, and we are sure this woman is nothing like wisdom. She is simple and knows nothing, and yet calls for the simple to come to her! What impudence. And yet here is a fine example of something to be wary of when you are seeking wisdom. The foolish woman calls over passer-bys to her as if she has something good to offer. Her throne is the step up to her home, and her boisterous attitude is appealing, but not for long. She does not wish the simple or those without understanding to gain wisdom! She wants them for her own ends. Her mind is focused on one thing, and one thing only.

 

And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

 

Was it a surprise that this woman is desirous of the forbidden and illegitimate, or that following the way of folly would end here? The foolish woman uses a faulty argument to get these men to enter her house, but it has ever worked for her, so she’ll keep on using it!

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Stealing water and bread may bring a victorious feeling and taste terrific, but when you are caught the feeling and taste are forgotten, and the punishment is very severe. To ignore this warning is to treat wisdom with contempt. “The foolish woman knows nothing,” and so do you if you side with her. The foolish way ends in death.

 

The truth is this: God is the giver of life, and He has given us the way to live. We can’t follow Him fully without the change of heart we need in Christ. Our ways need to conform to His, and that will only happen if we repent of our sins and turn and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Christianity is different from worldly wisdom in this way: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)” Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Do good people die young? – On Proverbs 9:10-12

Remember Billy Joel’s catchy song, ‘Only the Good Die Young’?

 It’s about a guy trying to convince a catholic girl to set aside her convictions and at best hang out with him and at worst sleep with him. Check out the lyrics. He may be conveniently using a saying, but the idea sticks, do good people die young? (My siblings would be saying, “Nay, none is good.”) It may seem the right thing to say at a tragic funeral, but is it biblically correct?

Proverb’s answer is somewhat revealing.

 

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.”

 

First off, not everyone will want to search for godly wisdom, because it involves dwelling on the holiness of God. This ultimately makes people shake in their moral boots when they realise they don’t match up to God’s standard. Proverbs says this is where a searcher’s path to wisdom starts.

We must not start with the blessings of wisdom and say, “Hey, this seems unfair! How can this promise be true?” We need to get back to where wisdom comes from. God is the source of all good things, including wisdom. Understanding reveals God to us. This understanding again comes from Him, as our finite knowledge is hardly adequate to discover the Creator of the universe. A ‘fright’ view of God brings us to our knees, as we realise we need His mercy and wisdom.

Wisdom says by her our days will be ‘multiplicated’ and years ‘additionated’ (I shouldn’t be getting away with this). So is that a guarantee against an early death? Not necessarily, look what happened to Abel, a son of Adam. It simply is a promise that those who seek to live a righteous life in God’s favour will be kept much more safe by Divine protection than if they had decided to live a life of selfish endeavours.

 

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*****María*****

So maybe it’s not so much that we will all be 900 year old retirees, but that God keeps the lives of those who seek Him in His caring arms. Why do we pray for the sick, old, and dying? Because we have a great God.

 

12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.””

 

This verse speaks for itself. Everyone bears their own maturity. Don’t expect others to be at the same level of wisdom as you. If they are wiser, listen to them, and if they are less wise, be patient with them.

If you scoff at wisdom, so what? That doesn’t mean wisdom is worthless. It just means your rejection of her is your own to carry. Carry it well, my friend. Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Wisdom: whom to instruct. – On Proverbs 9:7-9

Ever had the experience where you counsel someone and get absolutely berated by them for your troubles?

Shelling out teaching, even to your friends or family, has its problems as some people won’t appreciate your efforts in correcting them.

Wisdom continues, after imploring invited guests to her house to “forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding, (v. 6)” with a warning to wisely give out instruction.

 

7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

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How easy it is to fall into the trap of thinking everyone will appreciate our godly advice! Say you can’t stand seeing someone make unwise and sinful decisions again and again, and you rebuke them. They then slam you for interfering in their lives and for thinking that you know best. The scoffer will scoff at your well-intentioned instruction. They then will also have you as a close target to shame and harass. Why is this? Why do people hate being told to clean up their act? It’s probably because an unwise person always thinks they are right about their lifestyle, besides, it’s enjoyable!

Verse 8 says the scoffer might even hate you for your efforts, but a wise man will be thankful and love you if you rebuke him. I don’t know about you, but I dislike being told I’m wrong! There seems to be something ingrained in us that hates instruction, and wisdom is going against that grain. Wisdom says, learn more, you don’t know everything yet.

Foolishness screams, I know everything so leave me alone!

A wise man will want to get wiser, and so it follows that he will appreciate some pointers about his actions that he was blind to. After all, everyone has pitfalls in their understanding. Wisdom continues…

 

9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

 

Listening to that wiser or more observant friend, parent, or spouse will be a blessing. Be that wise person who responds with thankfulness and love, instead of anger and arrogance. It will be a step in the wiser direction. Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

 

Wisdom saw creation and rejoiced – On Proverbs 8:27-31

Only two people have seen the greatest garden ever, Adam and Eve. They were brought by God there and told to care for it, but even they couldn’t claim to have witnessed the creation of it or of the world itself.

Wisdom makes that claim here in verses 27-31. She was with God before there was an earth, and saw the creation in its entirety.

 

27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth,”

 

Six actions of God are mentioned here. Aside from mention of God’s work in the heavens and sky, most of the creation here is concerning foundations. Just as a house’s foundation is very important, the Earth’s foundations needed to be sound; both the ground and sea needed assigning stability and limits. In the first stages of creation, God is  laying out the massive forms of earth and sea, dividing and preparing them as He sees fit. Wisdom says she was there and saw it with God.

 

30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, 31 rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.”

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Wisdom rejoiced in God’s creation and God delighted in her as an able assistant in the work. This is what it is to be with God! We certainly see His power and design in creation, but to observe Him in action would be a wonder to behold. This is the wisdom we should follow, the wisdom that is joyful in front of God. Let us have that same wonder and joy in God’s work too. Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them as a comment on this post, and I’ll certainly read them and try to contribute to your thoughts.

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Wisdom: worth more than gold – On Proverbs 8:17-21

Wisdom can sometimes be too good to be true! As we have seen here in chapter 8, she is out in the streets, calling for followers, she speaks righteously, her value is beyond comparison, she hates evil, and guides kings and judges in their decision making. There is still more about her, and we see here in verses 17-21 that wisdom has an abundance of riches with her that endures.

17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. 18 Riches and honour are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.”

Verses 17-19 seem to be saying, “Seek first wisdom, and you will be blessed with things worth more than any earthly riches.”

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Is it too hard a saying? Possibly it’s too much work for you to seek wisdom. This passage is trying to persuade you to change your mind. There is much to be gained with me, says wisdom. Righteousness and honour are with her, as well as enduring riches. As an unblemished character of God, wisdom cannot be without goodness and honour and invites you to partake in her fruit.

20 I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, 21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.”

Do you love wisdom? If so, wisdom is working hard for you. She is carrying down the path of righteousness for you. She is intent on bringing about wealth for you. Maybe not the *clink, clink* of gold, but definitely riches worth keeping. This is certainly a blessing for us who work hard to be godly, and don’t seem to get any better for all the effort. God grants blessings for those who love His wisdom and desires to fill our treasuries with His riches.

 

If we were to make an argument for wisdom to the world, I wonder if we would be so bold as to say, “God’s wisdom is better than gold! Seek wisdom more than you seek after money and comfort!” It is certainly a hard enough thing to accept ourselves!

May we approach God with a humble heart and seek His wisdom diligently. She is worth it. God is worth it. Amen.

Like God, like wisdom – On Proverbs 8:12-16

Wisdom never fails. She doesn’t stop reflecting God’s character and so we should look up to her. She is a model citizen of God’s kingdom.

12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.”

Not content with with what she knows, wisdom seeks out knowledge herself. Her very nature is to be forever seeking more of what God is like and what the fear of God means. Proverbs has already said the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (1:7), and wisdom adds to that by saying it’s to also to hate evil.

13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.”

Wisdom not only seeks good but also is set against all pride and perversity. This is because the LORD hates sin. It is contrary to His nature and so God must punish those who commit it. He is a Holy God and dwells in unapproachable light. My dad often quotes, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).” Hate is a strong emotion for sure and we are told to direct it at sin. The evil thoughts, the vile actions, the false pretence, the arrogance to say to the LORD, “I hate you, go die!” Sin is evil, and we are to despise it like wisdom does.

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14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth.”

Wisdom has prestige with kings because of whom she comes from and what she stands for. She has all these things going for her: sound wisdom, strength, she is understanding, has counsel, and kings rule justly by her. She pervades decisions made in private meetings and informs the rulings of leaders. If justice is being handed down, she is there behind the scenes.

She doesn’t come automatically, though. A king has to seek her as much as a layman like me does. If wisdom has the attributes of God, I want her to be on my side! I must seek out godly knowledge and hate the evil that invades my actions and thoughts every day. I might then start getting somewhere with her. Amen.

Wisdom’s wonderful worthiness! – On Proverbs 8:8-11

Who can you trust to speak righteously? Who is worth more than gems and fine gold? Who is good and is plain to understand? It’s wisdom! Speaking of herself, the personified wisdom tells us here that her value is beyond anything we could desire!

In chapter 8 we have a wide cry for people to seek wisdom, and this section is simply a claim to the goodness and worth of her.
Let’s read.

8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them. 9 They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.”

When wisdom metaphorically speaks, you will not hear anything twisted or malicious. All her words are good and worthwhile. Unlike we humans who speak both good and evil, wisdom will always reflect what is right since she comes from God, who is pure. Many may reject her words, but those who seek after her will find them clear to understand and right (see vs. 9). Like when you look into the eyes of a friend and know they are telling the truth, we see in this passage a similar confidence and assurance of wisdom’s worthiness in those who have sought and found her.

 

Just as you would consider a great friendship worth preserving and enjoying, we are called to see wisdom in the same light;

10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; 11 for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”

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Wisdom is in a whole different realm to the cold, unthinking minerals of the earth. Their value may be high here on earth, but God uses them for the foundations and paving of his new Jerusalem! If God values wisdom, surely it makes sense to value her, too. Amen.

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Further thinking: If you go through all the things you desire, would you pit any of them against wisdom? This passage makes me examine my desires.

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.