Proverbs 31

Hey, welcome back! This post is gonna be slightly out of the ordinary today. Most times this chapter is discussed, people focus on verses 10-31, talking about wives of noble character. While that is great and does need to be talked about, the first 9 verses are often left out of the discussion. So that Is what I’m going to be talking about today; 1-9.

1-3: “The sayings of King Lemuel – an inspired utterance his mother taught him. Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb! Listen, my son, the answer of my prayers! Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.” Many people have fallen from foolish lusts (David, Samson, Nebuchadnezzar, etc.), but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get back up.

4-5: “It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.” If you become drunk, all your senses leave you. You are apt to become angry and act foolishly (due to your emotions) upon your subjects and others.

Look at 6-7 now: “Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” Wine can be used for medical purposes, but people neglect its value and abuse it or become addicted, using it to shut out life’s problems – for a short while.

Here are 8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of those who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”  If you see someone being bullied or wronged that is unable to stand up for himself, step in! Help him out! Stand up for him! This is a righteous action.

Now I want to point out something about this whole passage. Look at verse 4 again: “It is not for kings, Lemuel – it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer”. There’s something unique about Lemuel. Something that his mother keeps bringing out. You’ve probably noticed it; the word “king”. This whole passage I just talked about is all about instructions for King Lemuel. Not just Lemuel, but king Lemuel. These instructions that his mother taught him; they’re for kings. Kings and rulers are to be examples to citizens.

Good kings don’t go out on weekends and drink with all their buddies. They are held to a higher standard, and they bear a higher responsibility. They must show the people not only what they want done, but how to do it.  Police, too, are another example of this; they are supposed to be public role models for the citizens within their area of jurisdiction. They’re supposed to be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.

Now, y’all won’t become kings here in America, and probably not even THE President, but any man who wants to rise to a higher position within his job or even merely desires to be a good leader of whatever God has placed under his authority has much to learn from these passages.

Lastly, I want to thank all of y’all for bearing with me while I covered these Proverbs. I appreciate all of your comments and advice. Thanks for helping out!

Ryan

Mark 16:15

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Proverbs 30

Hey, welcome back to A Message for the Messenger! Today’s post is a little different, due only to the fact that Proverbs 30 is laid out differently than most other chapters in Proverbs.

I’m going to start in verses 1-3: “The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh – an inspired utterance. This man’s utterance to Ithiel: “I am weary, God, but I can prevail. Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I attained knowledge of the Holy One.” Here we see him speaking of his ignorance of spiritual understanding. He knows nothing about the Holy One. But he wants to. Look at verse 4: “Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered the winds? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and who is his son? Surely You know!” He knows what He will do when He comes, but God has kept from Agur and everyone else the name of Him.

Now look at 5-6: “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” I like the fact that He will not only correct you, but He will also show you the points in which you fell.

8-9 are awesome: “Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise. I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” I love his loyalty to God here. He does something about it, too! He wants just enough so that he doesn’t get too greedy or needy.

Look at 12: “Those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;” (see verse 14 for conclusion) I think this has a few possible explanations:they think they’re saved but they’re not, they think they’ve cleared up a matter between them and someone else but they haven’t, etc. These are just a few.

Here’s 21-23: “Under three things the earth trembles, under four it cannot bear up: A servant who becomes king, a godless fool who has plenty to eat, a contemptible woman who gets married, and a servant who displaces her mistress.” Look at the first thing: a servant who becomes king. This is because with the servant’s inadequate training, he won’t know how to run a kingdom. 2.) A godless fool who gets plenty to eat. This fool doesn’t appreciate the abundant food he’s been blessed with. He doesn’t think about how he’s blessed not to be like the beggar at his house’s gate. 3.) A contemptible woman who gets married. The woman who has no respect for her husband is a thing God hates. Who’s running the house? 4.) A servant who displaces her mistress. How awful for a master to serve a servant. Here Agur is, I think, stressing the importance of acknowledging your role 1., 2., & 4.

Look at 32-33: “If you play the fool and exalt yourself or if you plan evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” Strife is an angry or violent dispute between two people. So stirring up anger never leads to anything good. But it does lead to strife, destruction, and hurt.

God bless y’all’s week!

Ryan

Mark 16:15

Proverbs 29

Hey, welcome back to A Message for the Messenger!

Look at verse 2: “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule the people groan.” (See Proverbs 28 verse 12 for further explanation.) If your actions upon your subject are evil, your subjects would have reason to groan and cause up-rise. But if your actions were good and pleasing to your subjects, then they would be content and calm.

Here’s 6: “Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad.” This is because the evildoers are caught in sin, but the righteous are blameless and, when searched, are found innocent of sin.

Look at 11: “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Anger leads to destruction. The wise know how to control their anger. The fools don’t. When they get angry, they go around destroying stuff – the wrong way to handle it.

Here is verse 15: “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.” As an older brother to a 14-month-old (just turned 14 months today!), I am witnessing first-hand the pain and importance of discipline. As a 12-year old myself who’s been disciplined in a like manner, I see the necessity of this discipline. Not saying that I’m perfect in the least, I’m just saying I’ve seen the other option.

16: “When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.” The righteous hate wickedness. Hate it. They want to destroy it from the face of the earth, like God did (Gen. 6: 5-7). But, just as happened to God, wickedness rises up from deep within the heart of someone, and spreads like wildfire.

Here’s 22: “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.” anger is a very dangerous thing. If you are hot-tempered, ask God to take away your temper! It’s a dangerous thing.

Look at 25: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” If you are caught up with caring about what the audience in front of you thinks, you will be glorifying man, not God. But if you think “You know what I’m doing this for God. I don’t care what they think. I’m doing this for Him!” That is glorifying God. Go to In All Things and you will get a bigger explanation from Taylor Beavers!

Lastly, look at verse 27: “The righteous detest the dishonest, the wicked detest the upright.” Wow. So they both hate each other. Well, if you notice, parts of Proverbs are like a Loony Tunes show. The wicked keep digging pits for the righteous to fall in, but the righteous miss them. Then the wicked are caught in their own trap. Hit by the anvil. Fell off the cliff. whatever the case may be, they always – without fail – are defeated by one of two people – God (working through the righteous) or themselves. Just over and over again! The wicked never gain the sense to stop fighting the righteous and get the wisdom to see their folly and confess and repent!

(For those of y’all in Texas) Y’all enjoy this Texas weather this week!

Ryan

Mark 16:15

Proverbs 28

Hey, welcome back to A Message for the Messenger! I’m going to be starting in verse 4 today:

4: “Those who forsake instructions praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.” If you resist wise instruction, you’re encouraging wicked behavior. But if you accept correction and apply it, then you resist the wicked behavior and build a stronger resistance against wickedness.

5: “Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” This is because God lays out right and wrong, so that we can understand. Matthew Henry states: “If a man seeks the Lord…it is a good means of understanding more.”

Look at 6: “Better the poor whose walk is blameless than the rich whose ways are perverse.” A poor man whose walk with Christ is better because the rich have power.What I’m saying is if a rich person has power, they have control over people. If their ways are perverse, than they don’t use that power well. Their deeds are evil. They do nothing to glorify God. Take Hitler. He did all the above. But the poor man who glorifies God is a greater blessing to the world.

Just a quick note on 10: “Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.” Matthew Henry says: “The success of ungodly men is their own misery.”

Here’s 12: “When the righteous triumph, there is a great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.”

The righteous are known for their God-honoring decisions and actions. They become famous for their high moral standards (i.e. George Washington, Billy Graham, etc.). But when the wicked rise to power, they make such bad choices that people do literally hide from the destruction and overwhelming sorrows.

Look at 13: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses them and renounces them finds mercy.” Look at what Matthew Henry says: “It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sin, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.”

14: “Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.” fear auses a sense of respect. I do believe, though, that this fear is more of awe, which causes you to fear Him out of awe, which gives you that respect. But if you harden your heart towards Him you will be punished severely.

Head over to 17: “Anyone tormented by the guilt of murder will seek refuge in the grave, let no one hold them back.” If you commit murder, you will be plagued by the guilt it brings. You will be in misery, and your friends will be miserable because of your misery. You’ll be wanting death. No one will want to stop your from desiring death, because your misery makes them miserable, too.

19: “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.” Work comes before play. After you do your work on the “farm”, you can relax for a season and the crops you grew will be your reward. However, if you relax and put off your work until the end, then you don’t have any means of food or money.

Look at 23: “Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a tlattering tongue.” If you correct a person respectfully, they will be more open to you, rather than you encouraging them in the wrong path and them failing.

Here’s 26, the last one I’m doing : “Those who trust in themeslves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Here’s Matthew Henry’s awesome commentary: “A fool trusts to his own strength, merit, and righteousness. And trusts to his own heart, which is not only deceitful above all things, but which has often deceived him.”

I hope y’all have a great rest of the week, and I hope this encouraged you in some way!

Ryan

Mark 16:15

Proverbs 27

Hey, it’s been a while. We’ve been pretty busy. I apologize for not posting, but I’m going to try to start posting every Wednesday, since every day obviously isn’t working for me.

      Look at verse 1: “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” I see this not only as the usual explanation, but in a different way. Look at the word “boast” and the line “what a day may  bring”. I think this also refers to your wealth, business, success, and importance in life. We may brag about going on a cruise in the Caribbean, but who knows what might happen that will prevent that? Matthew Henry states: “We know not what a day may bring forth. This does not forbid preparing for tomorrow, but presuming upon tomorrow. We must not put off the great work of conversion, that one thing needful.”

Look at 2: “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” This is basically saying not to bring up your diligent efforts and successes. Let others do that. And don’t trick them into it, either.

Here’s 6: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” “Wounds” in this sense is referring to correction, I believe. Even though the correction might not be what you want to hear, if you choose your friends wisely, then their counsel should be correct normally. They can still mess up, but it’s a lot better. But the wicked encourage you – exactly what you want! But once they have you inside their snare, you’re in, and they remove the mask.

Let’s go over to 12: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Like the saying “Turn around, don’t drown”, the prudent see the flood ahead and know to turn around.

I think this also has something to do with Salvation. The Prudent looks ahead and sees hell. They also see heaven. Meanwhile, the simple sits consumed in the present, not concerned about “later”. The prudent man makes the right choice. “But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I think this is a crucial verse to us believers. There are two angles I want to come in at on this verse, so here’s the first: watch who you hang out with. Pick your friends carefully. If you get friends who won’t influence you in a godly manner, you shouldn’t call them friends, meaning you shouldn’t be with them 24/7. You should have friends who encourage your spiritual growth. Now, am I saying to put up blinders against your worldly “friends”? No, not necessarily. But if you see that you’re being changed by them with negative results, I would get away from them. Here’s my second angle: Let’s say my friend Ray is struggling. His life is weighed down by everything it seems. They’re moving, he had quit his job, and he’s leaving all his friends. I have two choices: 1.) to sit around and mope because Ray is moving and I might not see him again, or 2.) encourage him. Build him up. Tell him, “Hey, sure you’re moving, but look – you get the chance to have more time with your family, you’ve already been offered a better job, and you can still keep in touch with your friends here!” Hopefully, your positive thinking and attitude will rub off on him, and he’ll get a better mindset.

This is what we need to do as Christians. If you see a fellow brother or sister in Christ at a standstill in their walk and or growth in Christ, do what you can to encourage their growth.

Look at 19: “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Let’s line a couple of people up. Let’s put Isaac Newton and Adolf Hitler side-by-side. Now, let’s look at their lives: Isaac Newton, Christian, scientist, chemist, astronomer. He wrote Philosiphaie Naturalis Principia Mathematica, in which he expressed is beliefs about a “Divine Being ” quite a lot. Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, helper Joseph Stalin, leader of the Holocaust, and tyrant still talked about 70 years later. Can you guess what their hearts looked like? I can guess. Isaac Newton, devote follower of Jesus Christ, firm believer who tries to discover as much as he can about God’s world. Adolf Hitler, obsessed with control, domination and death. No reverence to Christ at all, no thought of submission to anyone but himself. Now I challenge you to look at your  life, see what others see. When you’re done look at your heart. See what other don’t see. Change what needs to be changed.

20: “Death and destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.” I’m just gonna quote Matthew Henry on this one: Two things are here said to be never satisfied, death and sin. The appetites of the carnal mind for profit or pleasure are always desiring more. Those whose eyes are ever toward the Lord, are satisfied in Him, and shall be for ever so.”

Let’s look at 25-26 last: ” When the hay is removed and new growth appears and the grass from the hills is gathered in, the lambs will provide you with clothing, and the goats with the price of a field.” This is talking about how when all your work is done, reward comes. This is a huge encouragement to me, as we are preparing for a huge cross-country move to PA.

God bless your week!

Ryan

Mark 16:15

Proverbs 25

Proverbs 25

Any resemblance to real people in this post might just be intentional

Welcome back! Look at verses 4-5: “Remove the dross from the silver, and a  silversmith can create a vessel; remove wicked officials from the king’s  presence, and his throne will be established.” Now, this isn’t saying run  through the government with a fine toothed comb and get all of the wicked officials out. This is more saying choose  your officials wisely, you can detect dishonesty in a person if you know what you’re

looking for.

Look at verses 6-most of 7: “Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do  not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come  up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.” This is a passage that  requires thought. First, let me ask you something: When is a time you’ve gossiped?  Don’t say, “Ugh, gossiping! I don’t do that.” Yes, we all do. I do it a lot. But,  when is a time you’ve gossiped about someone? For example, “They hit a  note too flat there”. Then, you wonder, “Was I singing that good?” It gives  you a guilty feeling inside. Well, this is kind of what this verse is talking about.  If you nominate yourself to greatness, it will be super embarrassing when you get  corrected in front of everyone.

The rest of 7 and 8 also display an embarrassing situation: “What you have seen  with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your  neighbor puts you to shame?” Now, most of you have never been to court, but  it’s also the same when you run into the living room and yell, “Mom! Timmy was  drawing on the wall again!” Then Timmy runs into the living room and yells, “Yeah,  but I asked Jimmy if it was okay first, and he said it was and brought me the  crayons!” Jimmy is bringing Timmy to Mom for punishment, until Timmy reveals  to Mom the rest of Jimmy and Timmy’s story.

12: “Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise  judge to a listening ear.” If you are like me and get corrected, you kind of

grumble a little afterward sometimes, then just drop it. But, doing this leads  to longer and longer periods of  grumbling, and soon it turns to outright rebellion. Grumbling on the inside is  still rebellion. But if you have an ear that is aching to hear truth and correction,  you’ve got no problem accepting any correction!

16: “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit.” This  goes for several things. Desserts, bragging, lies. Too many of these, you’ll be  caught, you’ll be avoided by your past friends, or you really will be sick. This is  a good verse that talks about moderation – and this is a trouble I have. I don’t  know when to let something go, like an old pain, or a joke with a friend.

17: “Seldom set foot in a neighbors house – too much of you, and they will hate you.”  We have a past friend who did everything. She could climb pretty much any tree,  she had a way of “flying”, she could do everything. She also knew everything. We  saw her a lot. We got sick of her. We avoided her. She still makes us a little irritated,  and there are a lot of people like that. But, the point being, too much of you, or too  much of your things, can make a person not really care for you anymore.

I want to skip on down to 21 & 22: “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;  if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals  on his head, and the LORD will reward you.” Let me just say off the bat, this is  not what it may seem like. Your goal shouldn’t be to heap coals upon his head.  It should be to care for him. In doing so, you will “heap burning coals upon his head”.

One fact about the Bible that’s interesting is that it can speak metaphorically;  sometimes it doesn’t flat out say its meaning. That’s because some verses have  more than one meaning, possibly. So, when it says “heaping burning coals upon  his head”, it doesn’t actually mean that, as you know. But, it means that if you  treat your enemy to your firstfruits, and give him the best of your flock, then he  will feel guilty of the wrongs he has committed against you. Or not – he might  never feel guilty. You do what you are commanded and let God deal with your  evil enemy.

26: “Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.”  Whoa, the righteous can fall? Can be persuaded by evil? Any believer in Christ can fall.  Lose his Salvation? No. His Salvation is secured under the blood of Christ. But he can  fall to the ways of the world. They can slip back into the way of the world. Or, they could  have never left the way of the world.

Look at 28 in the NKJV: “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken  down, without walls.” Notice the last line: “without walls…” It kind of just slaps that  on there, doesn’t it? It is slapped on for a reason, though. It puts emphasis on that  section.   A man who has no rule over his own spirit has no protection from the  enemy’s flaming arrows that are raining down on us daily. He will fall, like verse 26.

The reason I brought out the walls was because a city without protection,

like walls, can easily be invaded. Can you imagine a castle without a wall? The  attackers would have full access to the keep. So, a person without control of his  protection has no protection.

Ryan

Mark 16:15

Proverbs 24

Welcome back! Here’s the first verse in KJV: “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” Here’s a quick question: Why would you desire to be with them, or be envious of them? Write your answer. My answer is that a lot of evil men have belongings that appeal to the world’s “style”. If you desire that “style”, than you are not following God’s “style”.

Verse 2 gives Solomon’s answer: “For their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble” (NIV). The people of today’s culture are all about death and violence, instead of the ways of the Prince of Peace, who died so all might have life.
Verses 3-4: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Here’s an example of this verse: Suppose I say to my mom, “I want to build a treehouse”. She says, “I love that you want to build something, but we’re moving soon”. She goes on to correct me for just saying it, and not finding out what materials would be needed, which tree I would use, etc. I was jumping into the situation without thought. Read the verse again. Make sense?
Verse 6: “For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisors.” This is saying “surround yourself with people who can influence you for the better”. Do some deeper journal work on this verse.
Verse 7 is interesting: “Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the assembly at the gate he has nothing to say.” Ponder the meaning of that verse a moment. Here’s a question I struggled with a while ago: Can a fool become wise? My answer is yes. He can become wise. You may say, “”The Bible says that a fool will never know wisdom”. That may be; I just said he can.
10: “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!” Consider that a moment. Why is that? What in you is faltering? How many times in movies like Left Behind or Heaven is for Real do you see the characters “shaking their fists” at God? And why do they do it? In the third left Behind movie (called World at War), Buck is “shaking his fist” at God because his wife is deathly sick. And in Heaven is for Real, Todd Burpo is “shaking his fist” at God because his son could die and he was depending on the surgery being performed. So again, why do these people do it? They’re going through a “classroom”, if you will, in their lives designed to test their faith. Their strength in God is faltering.
Look at verses 11-12: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, ‘We knew nothing about this’, does not the One who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your lie know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?” These are very interesting verses. Read the first verse again, with “spreading the Gospel” as your mindset.
Those verses reminded me of a poem by Chris Mooney, and it’s called “My Friend”. Here it is:
“My friend, I stand in judgement now
And feel that you’re to blame somehow
While on this earth I walked with you day by day
And never did you point the way
You knew the LORD in truth and glory
But never did you tell the story
My knowledge then was very dim
You could have led me safe to Him
Though we lived together here on earth
You never told me of your second birth
And now I stand this day condemned
Because you failed to mention Him
You taught me many things, that’s true
I called you “friend” and trusted you
But now I learned, it’s too late
You could have kept me from this fate
We walked by day and talked by night
And you showed me not the light
You let me live, love and die
And all the while you knew I’d never live on high
Yes, I called you “friend” in life
And trusted you in joy and strife
Yet in coming to this end
I see you really weren’t my friend.

Just think about the meaning and message of the poem for a few minutes. Think of it next time you see an unsaved classmate, teammate, friend, neighbor, or someone else you know (or don’t know).

Verses 17-18: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls, when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove, and turn his wrath away from him.” Do journal work on this.

If you have an NIV, there’s a line that says “Further Sayings of the Wise”. Skip down to that and read the rest of the chapter, up until verse 30, making notes as you go. Here are things to look for: What will people hate you for? What will people love you for? What do you do before building a house and why?
Next, read the interesting story in verses 30-34, and write in your notebook about the lesson taught.
Ryan
Mark 16:15