Wisdom

Proverbs 12:8

A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

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Notice that the first part of this verse says a man will be praised, honored, respected not because of his IQ or his store of knowledge, but according to his wisdom.  The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the importance of wisdom. So, if it’s not intelligence, then what is it?

Proverbs 14:1 says,  “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”  It is not wise to reject God.  It is, in fact, foolish, showing a lack of understanding and a spirit that is perverse.  In fact, the man who disclaims God  is corrupt, having done abominable works. There is no one that does good apart from God.

The acknowledgement of God is the beginning of wisdom  (Psalm 111:10).

But the person who has a perverse heart will be despised, scorned, rejected.

Perverse: Turned away from what is right or good.   A person with a perverse heart, a perverse spirit, is one who lacks wisdom.  He is obstinate:  Not open to reproof, hard-hearted, stubborn and unyielding.

The perverse person is reprobate: From Latin reprobat- ‘disapproved,’ from the verb reprobare, from re- (expressing reversal) + probare ‘approve.’  He is reversed from approval–that is, he has turned his back on that which is good, right, moral, godly.

He  does not care who is hurt by his hard heart, his stubborn attitude.  He cares only about getting what he wants, the way he wants it.

Finally, Proverbs 13:15 says, “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.”

Good understanding is wisdom.  The wise person will gain favor.  But the way, or path, of the transgressor is difficult, rocky, thorny, full of pitfalls.

Wisdom comes with godliness.  Godliness comes with humility, teachability, and obedience to God.

Stay in the Word.  Gain wisdom.

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Rahab

Yesterday Terry was asking me where Rahab is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.  Matthew 1:5 tell us that she married Salmon and was the mother of Boaz.  Boaz married the Gentile Ruth and they had Obed, who was the father of Jess, who was the father of David, who became the King of Israel.

Why is this important?  Well, in Joshua 2 you can read the story.  Rahab was a harlot; a well-known prostitute who lived in Jericho.  When two Hebrew spies asked her to help them, she chose to hide them if they would save her life when Jericho fell. They agreed, and told her to hang a scarlet cord from her house.  Her house was spared when the walls fell. See, the people of Jericho had heard of the God of Israel,  and they knew it was wise not to stand against  Him.Image result for Rahab in the city of Jericho

Because Rahab believed God and protected His men, she was accepted into the Hebrew tribes. Ordinarily, the penalty for prostitution was very harsh, but   she was forgiven. Beyond forgiveness, she was blessed.  She married Salmon, and became a  part of the line of David, from which Jesus Christ  was born. And along the way, Ruth, a woman of the Gentile nation of Moab, also became a part of the line of Jesus.

Both of these women are examples of the grace of God in the Old Testament.

A friend told me this week that she heard a preacher say something along the lines that we should forget the Old Testament and just focus on the New Testament.

My reaction?  How ridiculous! The entire Old Testament records mankind, warts and all, but looks to the cross and the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb.  How could we possibly understand all that if it were not for the Old Testament record of God’s grace and forgiveness time after time?

As I blog through the book of Isaiah (just started chapter 47)  I am overwhelmed at how often God  forgave His people for falling away from Him into idolatry.  That’s grace.

The Old Testament is so much more than just a collection of stories about war, murder, idolatry, and immorality.  It is about forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, and the love of God.

And it is about the prophecy of God’s eternal plan for  His people, and for all of mankind. It is exciting,  Full of miracles, the stories of sinful people, love stories, battles, and the love of God.

Discarding it is discarding the inspired Word of God.  It is just wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Make it Today

Proverbs 29:1. “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

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Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death, but that God’s gift to us, through Jesus Christ, is eternal life in heaven with Him.

If we refuse to acknowledge the sinful nature with which we all are born, turning our backs on the sacrifice Jesus made when He accepted the job of dying in our place, paying the penalty of our sin, we are hardening our necks. We are stiffening our hearts under the Holy Spirit’s prompting to humbly confess our sin and accept his gift of salvation.

This verse in Proverbs makes it crystal clear that there will come a time for every person who, having constantly hardened his neck against God’s reproof,  will suddenly find himself with no more opportunity to repent. He will be cut off from all chance of salvation,  with no second chances.

That’s a most sobering reality.  No remedy, no chance to change one’s mind when one dies without every having come to faith in Jesus Christ. II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

God is patient. He is giving us all the time we need to turn our hearts to Him.  Let me invite you to  accept Jesus Christ as your Savior today. He is waiting for you.  He loves you.  He wants you to be in heaven with Him.  Please don’t harden your heart.

 

Sunday Morning Coffee: Rain

It started raining yesterday afternoon.  The good, gentle soaking kind that doesn’t just beat down the flowers, but that soaks into the ground and gives new life to the poor posies that can never get a good enough drink from a hose.

Some are complaining. There will always be complainers.  They want it to rain, but not on a weekend when they aren’t stuck in an office somewhere.  And they don’t want it to rain very long.  Nor should the temperature drop too low ( I’m thankful for a steep drop in temperature.)

I don’t know how long it’s supposed to last, but right now I’m enjoying the sound of water against the sidewalk, washing the leaves clean of dust from the roadwork being done on our street.  I’m enjoying the fresh smell of rain on the dry and thirsty ground.  I like the swish of cars passing by, and I like falling to sleep with the sound of rain on the roof.

Life-giving, refreshing, restorative rain.

Sunday Morning Coffee: Rain

It rained yesterday, a it’s still drippy today.  I love it. The rain was desperately needed, washing the air and the trees clean of all the dust from the construction work on our road. It wasn’t a hard rain, flattening flowers or accompanied by strong wind.  It was a slow, gentle rain.  You could practically see the flowers rise up from their droopy posture and open their petals, having their faces washed and their roots renewed.

Of course some people complained.  Why does it have to rain on the weekend?  Why not during the work week?

We had a community picnic planned at our church yesterday.  It had to be postponed. That’s okay. God knows all about it. I got over fussing about such things years ago. It doesn’t do any good 🙂

I’m just thankful for the showers of blessing God poured down on us.  We needed it. Refreshing, restorative, life-giving rain.

How to Please God

Proverbs 15:8. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”

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There really isn’t much commentary necessary here.  If we regard sin in our hearts, all our sacrifices are like the stench of a dead body in God’s nostrils (that’s what the Hebrew word for abomination means).  But when we pray in humility and sincere love for God, He is delighted.

I am reminded of another passage:

Luke 18:9-14

And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

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Sunday Morning Coffee: Back to Normal

Well, things have gone back to normal for a while.  Mike and family left to visit relatives in Mifflinburg on Thursday morning.  We spent Independence Day with them along with another couple who have been friends for years.  Great fellowship, great food, and the beginning of my eighth decade of life 🙂  Being born on the Fourth of July is pretty cool, actually.

Toward the end of the day we spent some time around the piano. Mike wanted to record a song, and I played for him. If you’d like to see it, you have to follow this link:  You have to click on the words “Watch on Facebook-Learn More.” You may need to double-click. If it doesn’t work, you can try going to my Facebook page.

Anyway, we sang for nearly an hour.  I don’t play the piano much these days, but we had a good time in spite of my rusty fingers. I love singing in harmony.  Mikes wife has a pretty soprano voice, but is also comfortable as an alto.  Margie, the other member of our impromptu quartet, can also sing just about any part.  Lots of fun.

The music that brings us together is sacred music, some from a hymnal and some from our memories.  I used to sing in a trio with Margie years ago, so we’re very comfortable singing together.  I’ve also sung with Mike and Janan. It was fun  to  get into that groove again.

The music we all love tends to have a Southern gospel feel to it.  Not  honky-tonk, but  classic gospel. Songs we’ve sung for years and years. They’re songs about God, about His love for us, about His mercy and grace.

I’m so thankful for the music in my life that dwells on  my Savior.  There is always music in my head, and usually it’s music that reflects my faith journey.  Music can be a great comfort, a source of enjoyment and relaxation, a call to service, or a call to prayer. I’m looking forward to the music at church tomorrow.