Finding Peace in the Prince of Peace
This month we will be looking into the Book of Proverbs. Each day we will be selecting a key verse from each of the 31 chapters in order to gain wisdom and instruction during these challenging times. We encourage each of you to read the proverb whose number corresponds to the date, every day throughout the month of July (31 days, 31 proverbs). The key word in Proverbs is WISDOM. The dictionary defines wisdom as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement.
July 31, 2020
In this final proverb we observe that the writer seems to have memorized this oracle that makes up the first 8 verses. A wise person memorizes, at least, their favorite bible passages, so they can recite them at the right time. Memorizing scripture is a very good discipline for us to consider and participate in throughout our lives and to teach our children to do. The rest of the proverb speaks of the character qualities of an excellent woman. The writer sets the bar very high, especially for our present age. To succeed today, a woman would have to do a lot of things that would bring criticism upon her for doing so, but that's the way life is when we chose to believe and make Yeshua our Lord. Men and women, read this proverb carefully. Meditate on it and hear G-d's direction for your life. Remember that no matter how old we are, G-d is remaking us in His image and He most certainly can help us change for the better.
A brief refresher on the purpose of the Book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 1 2-6
To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles
It is helpful to remember the difference between wisdom and knowledge. One may have knowledge without wisdom. Knowledge is the collection of facts; wisdom is the right use of what we know for daily living.
Our goal this past month was twofold.
We wanted to share scripture with all of you each day and encourage all to be in the word daily.
We wanted to promote the knowledge provided in Proverbs to help us gain and apply the wisdom spoken of in this book as we walk through this fallen world.
Thanks for taking this journey with us this past month.
July 30, 2020
Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son’s name,
If you know?
This proverb is chock full of good, wise advice and one of the hardest messianic prophecies to deny that Yeshua is the only one who could have ever been the Messiah. Verse 4 can only be a description of God when it says "Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?" And the best part is the finish; "What is His name or His son's name?" If someone asks you where in the Hebrew bible or Old Testament that Messiah is foretold, this is a great verse to remember and quote.
July 29, 2020
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.
But happy is he who keeps the law.
Verse 18 says that where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, Wow! Does that fit our times? No matter what side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, when leaders don't lead with some direction in mind, chaos reigns. This is why we need to pray for a spiritual revival in our country and for our leaders to seek G-d for wisdom. When leaders seek G-d, shalom reigns.
July 28, 2020
The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
In the first verse of this proverb, we're told that the wicked flee when no one is pursuing them. This behavior is seen illustrated in scripture several times. The wicked flee because they fear, or respect man more than God. Many times, our senses mislead us towards this behavior, but when we take these thoughts captive to the obedience of Messiah, and boldly believe Him, we overcome our fear of man and gain victory.
July 27, 2020
Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
We don’t know what tomorrow may hold, so we should have a humble attitude towards the future. It is ok to plan for the future, but we have no control over what is coming. We should pray for and seek G-d's will for each day.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
July 26, 2020
He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own
Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.
There is wisdom of not interfering in the disputes of others. Some find it irresistible to get involved, even though they should not involve themselves. The quarrel does not concern them, yet their foolishness prompts them to meddle in others business. More times than not pride is involved. It has been said that it is better to keep quiet and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and prove them right. It is sometimes best to mind your own business.
July 25, 2020
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
And the Lord will reward you.
We will use scripture today to expound on this proverb.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The question we should always ask ourselves - How you gonna act??
July 24, 2020
Proverbs 24 13-14
My son, eat honey because it is good,
And the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste.
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul.
If you have found it, there is a prospect,
And your hope will not be cut off.
Verses 13 and 14 tell us that as that the sweet taste of honey to our bodies is much like wisdom is to our soul. Just as honey gives a delicious sensation to our physical being, wisdom gives a good sensation to our soul. It states further that wisdom gives hope for the future. As we continue to watch much of our society devolve into chaos, remember this lesson and ask God for wisdom early and often.
July 23, 2020
Proverb 23 13-14
Do not withhold correction from a child,
For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die.
You shall beat him with a rod,
And deliver his soul from hell.
The concept here is not that correction is imposed on a child, but that it properly belongs to a child and to not bring needed correction is to withhold it. There is place for both literal, physical correction of a child (such as spanking), and the place of correction through the rod of an alternative punishment or word. However, the cleansing rod must be applied with the warmth, affection, and respect for the youth. Warmth and affection, not steely discipline, characterize the father’s lectures. Parents who brutalize their children cannot hide behind the rod-doctrine of Proverbs.
This text does not justify brutalizing children.
July 22, 2020
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Of the many similitudes given in the 22nd proverb, the one given in verses 6 stands out the most. Raising children, (and grandchildren) physical or spiritual, is a daunting task in our present world. Providing for their needs alone seems to take up the lion's share of our time and energy. Though that may be true, we must keep at front and center in our hearts and minds what verse 6 says. It is a long-term promise that will come to pass if we obey the LORD in the shorter term by fulfilling the command given in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verses 6 and 7. Our childrens' future depends on our actions today. Not only our actions toward them, but more importantly, our own diligence to keep God's word "on our heart". Give some thought today to the children under your influence, physical and spiritual. Pray for them and with them. Teach them what you have learned from God and they will "not soon depart" from them or Him.
July 21, 2020
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
The first verse is very interesting when we look at the various presidents that we have had leading our country. They of course aren't kings, but they have wielded much power, like a king does. When one studies who they presented themselves as on the campaign trail, then look at what they did while in the office, one can't help noticing that they acted much differently when actually holding the power in office. It does seem that whether one likes the president or not, G-d steered them in directions they wouldn't have chosen themselves, more righteous directions than their past actions indicated they might choose. That's why we are admonished to pray for our rulers in 1Tim 2:1-3. This pattern of G-d turning our leader's hearts should give us great encouragement, especially when we dislike or disagree with them.
July 20, 2020
Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?
Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?
James 4-6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “G-d resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4-10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Pride was the downfall of the evil one. Most of us struggle with it in one way or another. Isaiah saw himself as unclean compared to the Lord. How do you stack up? Have you seen yourself as clearly as Isaiah did? Look at yourself and confess where you fall short to the One who is whole, complete, and perfect. Stay in the word and let it show you the way to a new life in Messiah,
July 19, 2020
There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.It has been said that if you want to make the Lord laugh show Him your plans. It is in the nature of men (and women) to plan and prepare for the future. Some of the plans may be wise and some may be foolish. Every plan should be made with an appreciation of God’s overall wisdom, guidance, and will.
James explains this principle this way: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
This is a perfectly self-evident assertion, but important enough to pay attention to. We know that the heart is wicked and deceitful, and we cannot trust it but the one thing in the heart that may be depended upon is the counsel and guidance of the Lord.
July 18, 2020
Proverbs 18 1-3
A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire.
He rages against all wise judgment
A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart
When the wicked comes, contempt comes also.
And with dishonor comes reproach
We see the truth in these sentences playing out across our country daily. Mobs of people raging against everything they see as symbolic of their truths. They are not to be reasoned with, nor do they want to hear anyone else's ideas or opinions. They want to show the world the hatred they hold in their hearts and minds. They display utter contempt for that which others hold dear. We should pray for them, that the Lord will get hold of their hearts and change them and stop them or that He will be the judge if they are not willing to let Him in.
July 17, 2020
He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends
Verse 9 of Proverbs 17 tells us that "he who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends". Here Solomon is reminding us that if we want shalom in our lives, we need to forgive others like G-d forgives. G-d's definition of forgiveness is found in Jeremiah 31:34. Right after we're told of the "new covenant", Jeremiah says this; "I will forgive their iniquity, and their sins I will remember no more". There is a saying that goes like this; forgive and forget. Our problem as humans is that we don't forget. Neither does G-d! That's why He said, "I will remember no more". G-d doesn't forget our sin, He chooses not to remember. We need to do the same with the people we are the closest to. We need to not bring up previous offenses in the heat of confrontation and live by Ephesians 4:29; Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear".
July 16, 2020
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the spirits.
Yesterday we mentioned that presumption gets us into trouble because in presuming, we many times misjudge others motives. In Proverbs 16 verse 2 we are told that in our own eyes, our ways are clean, but the Lord judges the motives. When in a confrontation, this is a very good piece of advice. Furthermore Hebrews 12:4 reads; "For the word of G-d is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piecing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, AND ABLE TO JUDGE THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTIONS OF THE HEART." When in conflict, we need to train ourselves to think of these two verses before we act or speak and remember that it is The Word of G-d and He Himself that judges motives. We need to ask some questions to Him and the person we're in conflict with before we judge.
July 15, 2020
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger
A wrathful man stirs up strife,
But he who is slow to anger allays contention
Verse 18 of this proverb says that a hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute. This verse goes well with the first verse which instructs us that a gentle answer turns away wrath. Our tempers can get us into a lot of trouble. Anger that is unchecked destroys relationships. Proverbs 13:10 says that through presumption comes nothing but strife. How true. This is why Yeshua would always ask people questions, even though certainly He had all the answers already. He never presumed to know what people were thinking or what motives they were acting on; He asked questions. Next time someone makes a statement that offends you (if you're like me, that'll probably be within the next hour) stop yourself from reacting and ask clarification questions, You'll find yourself in better relationships with the people around you and a lot more shalom in your life.
July 14, 2020
Fools mock at sin,
But among the upright there is favor.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Verse 9 of Proverb 14 tells us that fools mock at sin and verse 12 tells us that there is a way which seems right to a man. but its end is the way of death. We see these similitudes playing out in our society nowadays with great regularity. As it has always been, there are those who deny the very existence of G-d and choose a different "way", but it leads to death and everlasting separation from G-d, the bible tells us. Remember that in Genesis 3:24, G-d drove man out of the garden of Eden and placed an angel with a flaming sword which turned in every direction to guard the "way" to the tree of everlasting life. Then in John 14:6, Yeshua tells us that He is the "way" back to that tree of life and spending eternity with Him. Loneliness is a powerful emotion. It's hard to imagine an eternity of it, but that is what is awaiting those who don't believe. Think about this and let's get busy telling others so they can avoid this worst of fates.
July 13, 2020
He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded.
He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
We can tie these two proverbs together to get a great example of sowing and reaping. Our children are living proof of the principles we apply to their upbringing. When we follow the instructions given by the Lord in raising and teaching our children, we can rest in the knowledge that we taught them well and that they know right from wrong. If we choose to take the easy way and not teach them by disciplining them the fruits are often bitter realities later in life.
July 12, 2020
Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.
We come back to our first lesson. Know the Lord and respect Him and learn His ways. Seek the wisdom that comes from above. This involves a humility on our part and a desire to be wise. As Forrest's mother often said, "Stupid is as stupid does." Don't be stupid. Ask for wisdom and immerse yourself in the word.
July 11, 2020
Proverbs 11:8: The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.
The Lord promises blessings to the righteous and upright. Whatever troubles we experience in this life are only temporary and we will see His deliverance in this life and especially in the life to come. For those who do evil the worst is yet to come in the day of judgement.
Isaiah tells us that no one is righteous, yet we read that when Abraham chooses to believe the Lord it is reckoned to him as righteousness.
It is our belief in Yeshua our Messiah and His death and resurrection that is our saving grace.
July 10, 2020
The tenth proverb speaks often of the tongue. In verse 6 we are told that the righteous are blessed, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. We see this playing out daily in our society. We see organizations that have names that convey truly good concepts yet have charters and mission statements that would turn our stomachs if we would take the time to read them. They preach peace but conceal their violent tactics. Jeremiah 6:14 speaks of the people of his time that acted deceptively, just as the wicked people of our time act. In that verse he tells us that the brokenness of the people has been healed superficially. Faith in Yeshua heals us in our deepest wounds if we will accept it. It usually doesn't happen instantly, but like the fact that the truth eventually always comes out, G-d will always bring us healing if we believe and obey. In James chapter 3 James gives us a great warning of the damage our tongues do. As we read the proverbs stop and think about all the verses that tell us of the effect our tongue has on the people under our influence. Let us return to G-d when he convicts us about our speech.
July 9, 2020
In the ninth Proverb, Solomon compares two women: wisdom, a figurative woman and "the woman of folly", a harlot, a literal woman. In this style of writing He demonstrates the concept of faith. Hebrews 11:2 tells us that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things NOT seen". Wisdom is not a visible being to us, just like G-d. This is why Yeshua said in Mathew 11:9 " wisdom is vindicated (justified) by all her children". We need to have faith to believe we will receive wisdom from G-d. When we request it, we can't sense it with our senses, we need to believe G-d ( the Spirit) will deliver at just the right time. We only know we have it when it has come to fruition or had offspring. It's through wisdom's prodigy, if you will, that we see that we have received it (been vindicated). On the other hand, foolishness is apparent immediately. Just like an immoral woman, or man for that matter, who appeal directly to our senses (our flesh). As our ever gracious and merciful G-d continues to help us "put off our old self" and "put on the new self, which is in the likeness of G-d" (Eph 4:22-24), let us keep being obedient to him, the final payoff as well as the shalom that comes with it in this life are almost incomprehensible!
July 8, 2020
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
I have been established from everlasting,
From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no fountains abounding with water.
Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills, I was brought forth;
While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields,
Or the primal dust of the world.
When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,
When He established the clouds above,
When He strengthened the fountains of the deep,
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,
Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
And my delight was with the sons of men.
In Proverbs 8:22-31 we learn that wisdom was both present and the driving force that God used to create earth and everything on it. Wisdom is older than the earth and is an integral part of G-d's character. Knowing this, and that through our relationship with Yeshua, G-d is remaking us in His own image (Col 3:10), we should be ready to ask Him for wisdom every time our commitment to Him is challenged in our daily lives (II Cor 10:5). James tells us that if we ask for wisdom, God will give it to us freely, so what are we waiting for?
July 7, 2020
My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.
In this Proverb, Solomon, again warns his sons about the wiles of adultery and adulterers. In the first 5 verses he says that following his instruction and commandments will bring the wisdom that will be necessary to avoid and resist the temptation to come under the influence of a harlot and thus commit adultery. Adultery, like other sins involves breaking many and possibly all of the other 9 commandments. There is always deception, stealing and idolatry involved in adulterous relationships. In the end, although physical murder may not take place, relationships are destroyed (murdered) and we should always remember who has been "a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44), our adversary, HaSatan.
Though we may have won most of our battles against sexual immorality, mostly by God's grace, the people that surround us haven't. Some aren't even wise enough to know that they should be fighting. We should continually listen for God's voice to guide us to take advantage of every opportunity to share the Good news of Yeshua, He is the only one who has overcome this world.
July 6, 2020
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
This collection of seven sins is focused on how we treat others. We must honor God and worship Him in spirit and in truth; yet God also is concerned about how we treat others. Each of these are serious sins against others and the end result is the discord that is sowed among us. The solution to overcoming these sins is to follow Yeshua's command to love G-d and love your neighbor as yourself. Sometimes easier said than done.
July 5, 2020
For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey,
And her mouth is smoother than oil;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood
Remove your way far from her
Rejoice with the wife of your youth.
The passages outlined above sum up the whole of the topic of Chapter 5 of Proverbs, which revolves around adultery. The wisdom shared by Solomon, when followed, leads to a strong and healthy marriage. Yet so many times we see relationships ruined by this practice. Solomon focused on the immoral woman because he was speaking to his son, but the same warning can be applied to immoral men. In the end the results of adultery are usually powerful examples of the concept of reaping and sowing. Sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind. Sometimes the simplest truths are the hardest to apply and the hardest lessons learned.
July 4, 2020
Proverb 4 1-5
Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
Get wisdom! Get understanding.
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
In this chapter Solomon encourages his children to listen to his guidance, which was based on sound , godly instruction passed down from his father, King David. He mentions the heart, which, according to scripture, is wicked and deceitful yet can be filled with good doctrine and changed by pursuing righteousness. He tells them to GET wisdom and understanding. Go after it and retain it and apply it.
One might be left to ponder, in relation to what we see going on today in our country, what the young people making headlines because of their rebellious behavior were taught by their parents.
Teach your children well. Teach them about good and evil, right and wrong, and teach them how to make good decisions. Teach them how to reap the benefits of a godly life. Teach them to avoid evil and to guard their hearts. Teach them to stay the course. They may not follow your teaching and instruction but that is on them, not you.
July 3, 2020
The 3rd Proverb is the most concise and simplest formula found in the scriptures for living a happy, successful, godly life. Solomon gives us ten mitzvot (commands) by which we should pattern our daily living. Note how wisely he expounds on remembering what we have learned in verse 1 & 2, on acting kindly and truthfully in verse 3 & 4. He tells us where we need to place our trust in verses 5 & 6 and to beware of our pride in verses 7 & 8. In verses 9 & 10 he wisely sums up tithing and finishes in 11 & 12 warning that we should not ignore or reject our Lord's disciplining of us. These are very good words of wisdom to meditate on, since to do so successfully requires us to consider them carefully in our hearts, where the real power to make them happen, the Holy Spirit, resides.
July 2, 2020
Verse 6 & 7 of Proverbs 2 tell us that The Lord gives wisdom and as we read the Proverbs, we come to understand that He seems to have all wisdom "stored up for the upright". As we read and meditate on the Proverbs this month, we need to keep in mind James's admonition to us in James 1:5; "But if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of the God, who gives to all generously and without reproach". The only thing absolutely promised to give to anyone who believes in Him in these verses is wisdom! We need to ask ourselves why we don't run to Him and ask for wisdom the many times a day that we find ourselves in difficult situations. If we think this through, we can retrain ourselves, with God's help, to ask for wisdom first. This new habit would really trip up the evil one. Instead of falling into his trap and getting angry, discouraged or, you fill in the word, we would quickly remember that God is in control and wants to share with you the wisdom He has "stored up". We may have to wait for His wisdom, but James tells us that wisdom will surely come, because God gives wisdom "without reproach". When we are given anything without reproach, it is given without conditions. In other words, we don't do anything except receive it. Give this some thought as you peruse this Proverb and pray daily for wisdom!
July 1, 2020
Verse 7 of Proverbs Chapter 1 tells us "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
The fear of the Lord is not about being afraid of the Lord, but about respecting and revering Him. Only by believing Him, believing in Him, reading His Word, and applying it to our lives are we able to grow in the knowledge He puts forth in His Word. Many choose to not believe in the very existence of G-d, and they are called fools. Rightly so, because if we are wrong and there is no G-d, all we have done is followed sage advice on living a godly life. However, if G-d does exist and His Word is truth then all who turn away and reject Him and despise His teachings will spend an eternity alone, separated from everything.
Solomon, who wrote the Proverbs, goes on to advise young men. not to resort to violence in order to gain possessions or power. Very good advice for today, as we see young and older people trying to do just that. We need to keep in mind the verse he ends this stream of thought with in verse 19; "So are the ways of everyone who gains from violence; it takes away the life of its possessors". Trusting God with our safety is a big concern of ours, as is being able to provide for ourselves and our families. God calls us to stay far away from the temptation to use any level of violence to achieve our goals or to provide for our needs, but instead ask Him for wisdom and trust in His answers. Something to think about as we begin our journey through the Proverbs.