So many regrets…Proverbs 5 and 6 what to avoid

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 5 means Proverbs 5 to start the day.  Verses 1 and 2 then 9, 10 and 11 spoke to me.  It was humbling and hindsight is always clearer.

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding; so that you will preserve discretion and your lips keep watch over knowledge. 9 so that you won’t give your vigor to others and your years to someone who is cruel, 10 so strangers won’t be filled with your strength and what you worked for go to a foreign house, 11 then when your flesh and bones have shrunk, at the end of your life, you would moan.

For many at the later years, this speaks true.  There are regrets… a desire and need to buy back the time.. It isn’t just about our walk with one another; its about our walk with God.  Who gets your youth and energy? Wrong choices can mean someone you don’t know gets what you worked so hard for.

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March 6 and Proverbs 6 focused my attention on what is not pleasing to God… Verses 16-19 elaborated on what to avoid.

16 There are six things Adonai hates, seven which he detests: 17 a haughty look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet swift in running to do evil, 19 a false witness who lies with every breath, and him who sows strife among brothers.

  1. haughty look – the eyes
  2. lying tongue – the mouth
  3. hands that shed innocent blood – hands
  4. heart that plots wickedness – heart
  5. feet swift; running to do evil – feet
  6. false witness, lier
  7. one who sows strife

This brings me back to guarding my heart and body, self.  These are actions driven by one who is not following a path to peace or goodwill. They are to be avoided in our daily walk with others and our God.

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A warning…Proverbs 7 and 8

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 7 provided me with a warning from Proverbs 7.  Verses 24 through 27 held the warning.  Often used to warn the young of the folly of following those whose intent is to cause them to stray from the spouse and love of their youth and engage in relationships outside the parameters of marriage, it can also speak to those who leave their relationship with God to pursue other gods, other beliefs that are in conflict with His ways, much like Israel did.

24 So now, children, listen to me; pay attention to what I am saying. 25 Don’t let your heart turn to her ways; don’t stray onto her paths. 26 For many are those she has struck down dead, numerous those she has killed. 27 Her house is the way to Sh’ol; it leads down to the halls of death.

Any belief and/ or action that is away from God is the reference to ‘she’. Those who left God to follow other gods, and practice idolatry, were led to “the wages of sin” which is death. This death is a separation from God. Jesus told us that “broad is the way and many there be that follow it to destruction,,,” My take-away is to be sure my love is for God, my actions reflect that love, my words speak his love to others.

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March 8 and Proverbs 8 told me what fear of God is.  This fear is that of awe and wonder, not fear that causes me to be afraid.  Verse 13 explains simply what fear of God is.

13 The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance.

When, in the Old Testament writings, we read of the punishment of the children of Israel, it is for their arrogance and pride, the arrogance and pride of their kings and princes.  Arrogance and pride rises up in us so silently and so swiftly without our awareness of it sometimes.

Have we taken offence at something someone said to us?  Pride. Have we boasted of an accomplishment of ours without giving God the credit for enabling us to do so? Arrogance.

God hates these two and verse 13 equates them with evil. if I stand in awe and respect of God, I will avoid the pitfalls of pride and arrogance.

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Reacting To Correction; Proverbs 9

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 9 found me reading Proverbs 9.  It spoke to me of confidence and how valuable understanding is to being sure of yourself. And, I found verses that gave me a clue as to what our reactions to correction say about us.  Hmmm…worth spending time reflecting on.

Proverbs 9:6 “Don’t stay unsure of yourself, but live! Walk in the way of understanding!”

What should I understand that can give me confidence? How can I be sure of myself by walking in the way of understanding? Wisdom offers me confidence; says to me I can become sure of myself by dwelling in her house and learning from her. But there’s more…

Proverbs 9:7 He who corrects a scoffer only gets insulted; reproving a wicked man becomes his blemish. 8 If you reprove a scoffer, he will hate you; if you reprove a wise man, he will love you. 9 Give to a wise man, and he grows still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will learn still more…knowledge of holy ones is understanding.

If you correct someone; note their reaction…if you are corrected; note your reaction…wise or scoffer; righteous or wicked? And it would seem gathering information will increase understanding; that includes gathering information from the correction that comes or the reaction to the correction that comes.  What say you?

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And How Then Should We Live? Proverbs 3 and 4

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

March 3 and 4 spoke to me about how I treat others, who I look up to and how I guard my self from those influences that would hinder my walk with God.

March 3 leads me to Proverbs 3 and verses 27-31 with words to live by; words to guide my actions and attitudes toward my neighbors.  Who is my neighbor? Jesus answered that question.

Proverbs 3:27 “Don’t withhold good from someone entitled to it when you have in hand the power to do it. 28 Don’t tell your neighbor, “Go away! Come another time; I’ll give it to you tomorrow,” when you have it now. 29 Don’t plan harm against your neighbor who lives beside you trustingly. 30 Don’t quarrel with someone for no reason, if he has done you no harm. 31 Don’t envy a man of violence, don’t choose any of his ways; for the perverse is an abomination to Adonai, but he shares his secret counsel with the upright.

Perverse is opposite God’s ways. Quarreling is adverse to peace; generosity is a blessing; sharing when it is needed is righteous.  And…my neighbor is any who have need, any who ask, any who live beside me.

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March 4 blessed me with Proverbs 4 verses 23,24,25,26.

23 Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences. 24 Keep crooked speech out of your mouth, banish deceit from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze on what lies in front of you. 26 Level the path for your feet, let your ways be properly prepared;

Heart, mouth, eyes, feet…what I believe, what I allow to have entrance to my inner being, how I use my mouth, eyes and feet, what I allow my mouth to say, my eyes to see, my feet to take me.  All of these feed my heart and being.  I have the ability to deny anything that would be adverse to the will of God to have access to my inner self.  I can choose to walk away, to say no, to not look, not read, not watch anything that would have the potential to lead me away from the way of the Lord God Almighty.

Verse 24 then, says watch what you say and how you say it. Verse 25 supports what Paul says to “look forward to the prize of our high calling.” Christ calls, look to him. Verse 26 tells us to watch where we go, remove hindrances to following Christ, those obstacles to doing His will, and in doing so, level our path forward.

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Proverbs 28

 

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Embarking on a year of Proverbs. One chapter a day correlating with the date. I began the 28th of February and the procedure I am following is to read the chapter, then write what stands out for me.  Beginning with Chapter 28 the first verse states

“The wicked flee when no one pursues them; but the righteous, like lions, feel sure of themselves…”

When you do not have a clear conscience you fall victim to paranoia…”paranoia strikes deep.”  A clear conscience allows you to advance with surety, clear vision, unafraid.  Which state allows for freedom, for unhindered progress in anything you do?

Verse 13 states

“He who conceals his sins will not  succeed; he who confesses and abandons them will gain mercy.”

This is a verse/principle for Living Free and Celebrate Recovery participants to live by.  This is a verse/principle for all of us to live by.

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Notes on reading Exodus 25

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

taken from google images

taken from google images

It appears that God appreciates art; the details on the menorah highlight this.  I see this in the following verses:

[Exodus 25:31-40 RSV] 31 “And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The base and the shaft of the lampstand shall be made of hammered work; its cups, its capitals, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it; 32 and there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; 33 three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almonds, each with capital and flower, on the other branch–so for the six branches going out of the lampstand; 34 and on the lampstand itself four cups made like almonds, with their capitals and flowers, 35 and a capital of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. 36 Their capitals and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it one piece of hammered work of pure gold. 37 And you shall make the seven lamps for it; and the lamps shall be set up so as to give light upon the space in front of it. 38 Its snuffers and their trays shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these utensils. 40 And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

 

It appears that God appreciates gold. Note the use of gold in the lampstand. How this contrasts with those equating a plain life with holiness!  The plain, shaker-style in contrast with the ornate work of the lamp provides a picture of the soil versus the shine of metal.  We are dust and to dust we will return.  God is holy and eternal.  This clearly shines a light on the command; “walk humbly with your God.”

It would seem there are conclusions to draw from this.  So often we hear and see those among us taking something simply stated and making it into something more than what was said.  The contrast between plain and ornate might be one.  There are groups who take the ornate to the extreme in their religious furnishings and then there are those who prefer the opposite, the plain; they are those who forbid all expression of intricate design.  Is this even important? It must be in some sense because the last verse cautions the builders of the lampstand:

see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.

If we apply even these seemingly small details to our lives, how careful must we be to follow the directions given by God for our benefit, directions to live according to His will and not our own?  The principle then might be to be sure we follow God’s directions as given not our ideas of what he meant.  Think on that…

The pictures posted above are examples of an artist’s interpretation of the instructions given, maybe…  They are not the original. They are different from each other.  They do have similarities.  How do we know which is accurate?  We go to the Word of God and read the instructions given. How closely are the instructions followed?   We do the same with the instructions given to us to live according to his will.  How closely are those followed?

“walk humbly with your God.”

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contempt for Adonai bears fearful consequences…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Numbers 16:

Then Datan   (Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram) came out and stood at the entrance to their tents with their wives, sons and little ones. 28Moshe (Moses)  said, “Here is how you will know that Adonai has sent me to do all these things and that I haven’t done them out of my own ambition: 29if these men die a natural death like other people, only sharing the fate common to all humanity, then Adonai has not sent me. 30But if Adonai does something new — if the ground opens up and swallows them with everything they own, and they go down alive to Sh’ol — then you will understand that these men have had contempt for Adonai.”

31The moment he finished speaking, the ground under them split apart — 32the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up with their households, all the people who had sided with Korach  (Korah)and everything they owned. 33So they and everything they owned went down alive into Sh’ol, the earth closed over them and their existence in the community ceased. 34All Isra’el around them fled at their shrieks, shouting, “The earth might swallow us too!” 35Then fire came out from Adonai and destroyed the 250 men who had offered the incense.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

korah

It is a fearful thing to disrespect God.  This fear is a mix of knowledge, awareness and respect for authority.  It is wisdom.

 The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge,but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

A knowledge of the capability, the consequences, an awareness of the danger that is potential and real, a respect for the nature of anything will give way to wisdom in how that entity is approached.

Working with raw glass is a prime example.  Raw glass when mishandled can cause deadly harm.  There is a wise, correct way to handle it.  There are precautions to take, safety gear to wear and safety measures to follow.  Those who do not use wisdom with what they have been taught and proceed with an attitude that they know better, are stronger or bigger than those who gave the instructions are often injured; some of them become drastically impaired if they live.

Knowledge of who God is and what He does was available to these men.  They were lacking in wisdom to use that knowledge and live wisely.  Fear of God is missing.  It is replaced with arrogance and confidence in self.  Lack of respect placed them in a position of peril.  Paul advises the believer to know God and live wisely.  (Ephesians 5:15) This event is recorded for the benefit of all who profess a belief in God, develop a relationship with Him through Christ, and take advantage of the grace offered.  Those in this event did none of the above.  They had knowledge but  self had risen above God and hindered their spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear.  They were deceived and it cost them.

The same is true today.  Those who are deceived are subject to God’s judgment.  It may not come in the form of the earth opening up and swallowing them but it does come in other ways.  There are plenty of testimonies available sharing that those whose eyes and ears were opened were able to be freed from the deception.

God is holy, will not be mocked or disrespected, but is also long-suffering and merciful.  It is great to be living in the days of grace, having knowledge of Jesus so abundantly available.

Pray – May we bring You praise.  May we speak as one whose eyes have been opened; as one who hears God’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes.  Numbers 24:3

Repent – I repent for those times I did not speak the words you gave, O God.  I repent for those who refuse to see or hear your words.

Ask – That spirit that confuses your people; that one who hinders your words from being heard or seen, may you destroy that one.  I will call on God and Adonai will save us.  He redeems us and gives us peace.  Psalms 55

Yes – I will praise you forever for what you have done, and I will put my hope in your name; for this is good in the presence of your faithful.  Psalm 52:1

Source:  Numbers 16, 24, Ephesians 5:15  and Psalms 52, 55,