Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Today I’ll depart from the New Testament and go back to the Old Testament.
One day while on my way to a gig, as I was driving through a section of town on the same road I use at least once a week, I noticed a banner. It was strung to a fence that was protecting an old hotel that was being refurbished. Part of the sign had the general contractor’s name, phone number, website, logo, etc. That was on the left side of the sign. On the right side was the verse from Proverbs that I referenced at the beginning of this piece.
Now maybe I noticed the verse because I was stopped at a red light, but I don’t believe that was the first time the light stopped me at that intersection. I know they hadn’t just put up the sign because I remembered the contractor’s name and logo on the sign. Something on that day made me look at the sign and read the verse. Continue reading
Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
Wait for the Lord and he will deliver you.
I read this proverb and thought about the balance of the universe.
King Solomon is telling us that evil will be repaid by the universe, there is no need to take matters into your own hands. Especially since our response would be futile since we do not have control over the balance. The balance is there, always has been and always will be. Continue reading
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Okay, so I’m beating this to death, but I feel this phrase, “the fear of the Lord” is very important. At least it is to me and my life.
I previously wrote how this phrase turns up numerous times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. And I have written how this phrase is misconstrued. Most concepts of “the fear of the Lord” are, a being of human form, floating above in the clouds, looking down, just waiting for us to screw up. But if you read any of my previous posts on this phrase you know that’s not what it’s about. Continue reading
A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
King Solomon understood politics. This verse is the very essence of politics, as it is now and as it will always be. No matter which side, this verse is politics.
Here is the Merriam Webster definition of politics:
- The art or science of government.
- The art or science concerned with guiding or influencing government policy.
- The art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government.
Number three got me, winning and holding control over a government. It’s not about doing what is right, or doing what is best for the people being governed. Most of the time what is right and what is best is unpopular. Being unpopular never got anyone elected. Continue reading
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
lest the Lord see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.
I read these verses and thought about how they fit into the theme of why does God let bad things happen to good people and vice versa. It also goes along with the whole balance of the universe and eventually, on God’s terms, there is a price to pay for sin.
Job questioned it throughout the Book of Job. He wondered why a good and righteous man such as himself, could have such horrible events happen to him. Remember Job lost all his possessions, which were extensive He lost his entire family except for his wife. Job questioned because he looked around and saw the wicked man living in the lap of luxury, while committing sins and having the time of his life. Continue reading
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.
You have heard some variations of the quote, “In God we trust, all others we verify”, or “all others we monitor”, or “all others bring data”. This is what David is saying in these two verses but in a more eloquent and poetic manner. Continue reading
For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
“…but you shall not borrow…”
I believe God is advising Israel on how to stay wealthy and self-sufficient, as a nation and a people. I believe God is advising us, on a personal level, on how to stay in control of your life.
I’m not going to get into the amount of debt we have as a country, nor the amount that other countries owe our country. I guess I just wanted to write about another example of advice and wisdom that has transcended through the ages. Continue reading
If you read some of my posts you may know that every morning I read a few chapters of my Bible and I have been doing this for a number of years. I’ve read it cover to cover a number of times. Sometimes I read it in order from page 1 to the end and sometimes I skip around from book to book.
The other day while reading my Bible I got to thinking about how big of a role God played in people’s lives when these books were written and then as the years go by (thousands of them) God has a smaller and smaller role.
I think about the book of Psalms. The whole book is King David talking to God either through poetry or songs. Continue reading
I have written about how the book of Proverbs is one of my favorite books if not my favorite book of the Bible.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fool despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
I wrote down these two verses because they speak about something I feel strongly about, humility.
There is wisdom in the poetry of King Solomon that is unsurpassed in all works through the ages.
It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t believe in God, there is no denying the wisdom and life lessons in this book. To pass it off as some mythical comic book hokum is foolishness and fits right into these two verses. Continue reading
(Today marks 40 years since we said, “I do”. Here’s to 40 more.)
The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him
I did some research on King Lemuel. I didn’t know who he was and I thought King Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs. Some scholars think otherwise, but I guess who wrote the book isn’t as important as what is in the book. After reading their arguments I still believe it is the work of King Solomon.
It turns out that King Lemuel was really King Solomon just using another name much like he does in the book of Ecclesiastes. In that book Solomon only refers to himself as “The Preacher”. And so it is likely that the advice being given to King Solomon is from his mother Bathsheba.
As I read Proverbs 31, I came to verses 10 through 31, which in the English Standard Version of the Bible is titled, “The Woman Who Fears the Lord”. And as I read them I thought of my wife.
Today June 16, marks the fortieth year of my life with this woman as my wife, and there is none other in this world with whom I want to spend my remaining days. Continue reading