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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Proverbs 29 then 1 and 2

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

February 29 allowed me to read Proverbs 29. The verse that stood out for me was 25:

Fearing human beings is a snare; but he who trusts in Adonai will be raised high.

This one is unafraid and their soul is secure; safe from the second death.

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March 1 led me to Proverbs 1 and verse 22 stood out for me.

How long, you whose lives have no purpose, will you love the thoughtless living? How long will scorners find pleasure in mocking? How long will fools hate knowledge?

Lord, have mercy, forgive our thoughtless ways and Holy Spirit help us turn toward God and his ways not away from them.  Thank you, Jesus Christ, for your sacrifice that enables us to be reconciled to God the Father in unity with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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March 2 gave me Proverbs 2 and several verses stood out for me. Verses 6-11 with verse 3 and 4 thrown in for good measure.  Bear with me:

6 For Adonai gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding-– (3 yes, if you will call for insight and raise your voice for discernment, 4 if you seek it as you would silver and search for it as for hidden treasure–) 7 He stores up common sense for the upright, is a shield to those whose conduct is blameless, 8 in order to guard the courses of justice and preserve the way of those faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand righteousness, justice, fairness and every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will be enjoyable for you, 11 discretion will watch over you, and discernment will guard you. 

  1. Wisdom
  2. understanding
  3. knowledge
  4. discretion
  5. discernment

Ask and He will give this to you.

James 1:5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.

Lord, I ask for wisdom to gain knowledge of You and understanding to apply to my walk with you.

Is there a need for this in today’s society?  Do we lack in these qualities? What can be done?

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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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Our Ways…

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

Proverbs 16:7  When a man’s ways please Adonai, he makes even the man’s enemies be at peace with him.

In this verse what is meant by man’s ways?  Strong’s # H1870 : a course of life or mode of action; course of life; of moral character…

The question is What is the condition attached to the promise of God’s provision?

Answer:  It would seem our ‘ways’ must please the Lord to receive the promise of God’s provision to see to it that our enemies will be at peace with us.  These are defined as how we act, our moral character, our manner of living which includes how we treat others.  Would it be fair to ask when we find ourselves not at peace with others how much is due to our own actions?  Something to chew on…

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Correct in humility…

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

Reading from Zechariah 2:

Then I looked up and saw four horns.  I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered J’hudah, Isra’el and Yerushalayim.”

Next Adonai showed me four artisans.  I asked, “What are these coming to do?”  He said, “Those horns that scattered Y’hudah so completely that no one could even raise his head–well, these men have come to terrify them, to overthrow the nations that raised their horns against the land of Y’hudah to scatter it.”

Related image

Image from google images

There’s more to this chapter, but this portion spoke to me and I wish to share those thoughts.  The explanation in the study Bible states the horns are the nations who came against the Hebrews and defeated them, scattered them as judgment from God because the Hebrews turned from God to other gods.  The artisans are agents sent by God to defeat those nations and therefore allow God to rebuild his city, Yerushalayim. Other writers see the craftsmen as agents who also assist in the rebuilding of the Hebrew nation.

Reflections on this passage noted that those used by God to punish his people who have turned away from him are in turn destroyed for coming against his people in such a way.  It is fearful to be used by God to discipline another.  That same discipline may come back around on the one who was used.  Beware of pride which can falsely elevate one’s sense of being more than one actually is.  A key phrase in scripture is to “walk humbly with your God.”* It is tempting to become smug at another’s correction.  No arrogance will go unpunished.

[Proverbs 17:5 NKJV] 5 He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.  (emphasis mine)

Note also, those used here in this passage were not ‘believers’ but outside the family of Hebrews.  Judgment against God’s people, his ‘church’ may come from outside the family of believers; it will still carry the curse of God, ‘anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.’  Whether or not the judgment comes is not based upon belief.  God’s word does not return void, or empty, it does accomplish what it sets out to do.

When one is used by God to correct another it would be wise to remember to do so humbly; not in weakness but with the knowledge that the correction comes through them not from them; it comes from God…this might help those who often say to ‘correct with love,’ since our definitions of love have been corrupted.

*[Micah 6:8 NKJV] 8 He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (emphasis mine)

Correction has an objective and that is to change direction or purpose; it also has an end goal and that is one of rebuilding something anew.  When one is going in the wrong direction, it is good to be redirected. It may protect from future harm; it may enable one to have an increase in purpose.  In this portion, the horns destroyed the old ways and paved the way for the craftsmen to rebuild.  Those giving correction and those receiving correction can more easily move through the process if they keep in mind the purposes of correction.

Any thoughts on this?

 

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Psalm 56; timely for today

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

For my enemies are hounding me;

All day long they assault and oppress me.

 

Our government leaders, our religious leaders, our neighbors…all stand on both sides of this fence.  Some call for the harassment; some are at the effects of the harassment. Some call for violence; some are at the effect of the resulting violence.  Stand back and listen, read the comments, listen with open ears and read with open eyes.  What does the Lord God Almighty have to say about this?  Do some soul searching…are we truly enlightened?  Then where do we stand in this picture? Do we join in with language that is demeaning or do we answer softly, kindly, gently or not at all?

 

They hound me all the day long;

Truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,

I will put my trust in you.

In God whose word I praise,

In God, I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause;

Their only thought is to do me evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

They spy upon my footsteps;

Because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape despite their wickedness?

O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

 

You have noted my lamentation;

Put my tears into your bottle;

Are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;

This I know, for God is on my side.

 

In God the Lord, whose word I praise,

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;

I will present to you thank offerings.

 

For you have rescued my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling,

That I may walk before God in the light of the living. Amen

 

What is your position? Where are your eyes and ears looking and listening?  Where is your understanding?  Are you in the light or functioning in the dark?  What is your fruit?  Is it encouraging and building or tearing down and hurtful?  It is time to turn the tide of evil in the land; one at a time.  Relying on the Lord God for truth, strength and wisdom.  By your love they will know you.  That is the love of God and neighbor.  Not love as our society sees it today.  It is time to do some soul searching and praying in the Father’s will and wisdom.

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,