Proverbs 13:14 – Life-Giving Wisdom

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. – Proverbs 12:14

Some places where else this is discussed:

Proverbs 5:22, 10:11, 12:12, 14:27

My Thoughts:

Have you a friend in your life you turn to for good advice?  Maybe you have a pastor who can speak to you frankly and with wisdom.  Life has many struggles and temptations, and we are never far from falling prey to the “snares of death”.

This proverb speaks of a wise teacher’s words being a flowing life-extender.  When he teaches well, God’s ways have an impact on his students.  I take a long time to learn and put wisdom into practice.  Thankfully, I have some great teachers who live out what they preach.173769817_3395be6100_z

The foolish path has many snares, leading to death.  There are many a foolish person ready to guide you to an enticing but fatal end.   Seek the wise people in your life and learn from them.  Their words will be a life-giving stream for you.  And then maybe you could provide a fountain of life to someone else?

Thanks for reading! Pete



Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Photo Attribution: Raul Lieberwirth Used under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

Proverbs 12:15 – Foolish Ways

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. – Proverbs 12:15

A series of proverbs with this same theme:

Proverbs 12:13-25 (excluding 21 & 24)

My thoughts: 

Being corrected can feel like a slap in the face. To not receive advice, though, could 6938110158_b13b525743_overy well end in a worse outcome than not saving face. We need to be open to other people’s wisdom. They might have insight where we don’t. To be totally secure in our own opinion is a dangerous place to be in.

Thanks for reading! Pete.

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible.com and is the New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Photo Attribution: sdanii Used under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Righteous Will Stand – Proverbs 12:7

The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand. – Proverbs 12:7

What is this proverb saying?
Where people stand before God makes all the difference in this life and the next, this proverb seems to be stressing. The people who reject God and His ways, who go about their business with no regard of Him, are said here to be overthrown completely. They have no sure future, no way, José. What surety do they have if God can call them to account at anytime? No one knows the hour of their death, and there is only judgment awaiting the lost.
The righteous household has no fear of dangers that might befall it. The righteous person’s surety is in God, and they will stand regardless of whatever happens.4991042830_8804605e28_b
While there is an appearance of all people getting hurt and sick or dying at seemingly random times, the point is that the righteous will find safety in God and the wicked have no such promise.

What can we learn from Proverbs 12:7?
What is your trust in? Do you trust wholly in the things of this world, such as money, locks, police or fire-resistant insulation?
Despite the importance of partly investing in these things, it surely is far better to seek and to put your trust in God, the Creator of this world?
We should not fear anything happening to us if our trust is in God. Make sure you and your whole family are made right with God and not even death will be the end to your house. Amen.

Thanks so much for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Check out TWO other posts about surety in God:

Your foundation in life is crucial – On Proverbs 10:24-26

God is an Immovable Foundation- Proverbs 12:3

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

The main image is courtesy of Phil’s Hat and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / both from Flickr – Creative Commons (Attribution License)
If you want, follow my blog with Bloglovin.

The Importance of a Good Wife – Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4

A husband may not be responsible for his wife’s actions, but he certainly is seen differently by others in light of her reputation and character. It is a great joy to see a married couple who work together, who highlight the strengths of their spouse and resolve issues well. This proverb speaks of the importance of a good wife and stresses that her character is crucial.

If you were to list what your idea of a good wife would be, what would you mention? The Bible provides a list in Proverbs 31 for us, and I’ll paraphrase some of the things mentioned. Check out the full list here in Proverbs 31:10-31 (the link goes to Bible Gateway). Do these characteristics match up with what you have in mind for a good wife?

  • Her husband trusts her and her actions. (vs. 11)
  • She does good, not evil. (vs.12)
  • She purchases materials and makes clothes. (vs.13)
  • She is an early riser in order to serve he family. (vs.15)
  • She is a profitable land investor. (vs. 16)
  • She has strong arms. (vs.17)
  • She cares for poor and needy people. (vs.20)
  • Her actions help make her husband famous. (vs. 23)
  • She speaks with wisdom and kindness. (vs.26)
  • She fears the LORD. (vs.30)
  • Her deeds are praised. (vs. 31)

Does anything in this list make you uneasy? I’m slightly scared of this type of woman! Surely only men are supposed to strengthen their arms? However King Lemuel, the writer of Proverbs 31, and highly influenced by his mother, thought differently (“The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:” – Proverbs 31:1).
Unlike our world’s idea of a wife having a demeaning role in the home and in society, Proverbs portrays an extremely positive and powerful picture of a married woman who is godly and wise. This woman has strength in many areas. She supports her husband’s work and makes him the talk of the town. People assess her, nudge the lucky husband, and say, “You did well with her, buddy! (or say it under Facebook pics of her!)”
The proverb we are looking at in 12:4 speaks of this type of woman crowning the head of her husband. This crowning seems to speak of honour, headship, and glory – all things that lift up the husband in the eyes of his community. He is truly blessed 2334811445_29e4083a9c to have such a wonderful wife, who supports him and doesn’t supplant his authority. The opposite type of woman mentioned has intent to cause unrest and pain to her husband. Her actions bring his status among the community into disrepute, since, as the argument goes, what wise man would have married her? A man whose wife constantly makes unwise and spiteful decisions will find his efforts to get anywhere in life severely held up. The proverb speaks of the shameful wife rotting her spouse’s bones. He is hampered in his efforts to flourish in life.
In a world where self-purpose is all important this ideal stands in clear contrast. This excellent wife is satisfied with bringing about God’s and her husband’s glory by excelling in all things in her area of service.
I certainly want to seek such a woman for marriage; as of October, 2013, I’ve yet to marry.
What can we learn from this?
One thing we learn at least is the importance of whom we choose to marry. They will be our closest companion and will help us in our work/ministry. If our spouses seek to be destructive it will be easy as pie for them to bring us down. Your spouse will know you better than anyone else. If, however, they are godly and servant-hearted, your spouse will know how best to serve you. Choose wisely. Peace be with you.

Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

More Reading:

Proverbs speaks of this topic elsewhere: Proverbs 18:2
I’ve written about a similar passage here: Guaranteeing, Honour, and Forgiveness – Proverbs 11:15-17 (verse 16)

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Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Main image courtesy of Kwadwo Kwarte and the “More Reading” image is courtesy of Vermont Historical Society / Flickr – Creative Commons

God is an Immovable Foundation- Proverbs 12:3

A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved. – Proverbs 12:3

 

Reading this verse do you feel, as I felt, that this doesn’t initially seem to be true in life?

We see dictators rise and flourish. We see corrupt businessmen take charge of companies. We see the easily persuaded fooled by schemes.

Since this proverb is God’s Word, however, we have to take it seriously. Lets try to understand what it’s saying and how it can apply to our world.

The basis of what a man believes affects his whole way of living. If he serves the God of the Bible, his trust will be in the ways of God, and his efforts will be for God’s glory.

An idol-worshipper, as in anyone who rejects God, will be engaged in a similar way with his god.

This proverbs seems to be saying those who seek to build security in life without God will have unsure footing. Those who live by God’s Word are promised a grounding that is sure.

I find the man who rejects God ends up finding there is a lot of uncertainty in life and clings to anything that promises to provide security. I’ve seen people trust in Science, their reason, a rampantly evil lifestyle, drugs, or even insurance. As much as they claim they are content and have no worries about death, when pressed I find they may honestly admit to the weakness of such gods.

The person, however, who trusts in the infallible, immovable, and all-powerful God, will claim that although life has it’s uncertainties, their life is secure in God, and it is Him whom they will live and die for.

So can an unbelieving person flourish here on Earth? Well, I believe it is possible, but they’re striving against the wisdom and law of God, on which His creation is built upon. They are bound to fall and time will tell whether that will be in this life or the next.

 

6827018401_9ed80646f4_zWhat can we learn from this?

God is the firm foundation on whom we put our trust. Any other ground is unstable and temporary.

If men have great success in gathering wealth and building godless empires, we have to trust that God laughs at their efforts, as He’s laughed throughout the ages at men doing just that. Egypt fell. Babylon fell. Persia fell. Rome fell. Nazi Germany fell. It is only by God withholding his judgement that such people can still stand nowadays.

We can know that trusting in anything but God is folly and idolatry. See Jeremiah 11:11-12 for what God said to disobedient and distrustful Israel.

Read also Isaiah 31:1-3 here:

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots

and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.
Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;
he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
against those who help evildoers.
But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
those who help will stumble,
those who are helped will fall;
all will perish together. (NIV)

Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is either the New King James Version or New International Version. I am using a commentary by John A. Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of  mikebaird / Flickr – Creative Commons

Come under Instruction – Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,

But he who hates correction is stupid.” – Proverbs 12:1

Do you enjoy being corrected? Does it just make your day when someone shows you a better way of doing something?

This proverb’s first line points to an attitude that seems to be rare among us Australians. We like to be our own boss and not have people laying down teaching on us. We are more likely to have the attitude of the second line.

Is this proverb in line with how life really works out? Lets follow the logic of this. Suppose a new person on the work-site comes ready to listen and be taught properly the way the site runs, does he learn better and quicker then if he hadn’t that good attitude?

It’s pretty clear that the new guy would have an easier time than if he had rejected any attempt at teaching or correction on how he did things. If he did that he would have only so long in that job!

business people group working in customer and help desk office

If he is wrong in an area, a good attitude would be to eagerly listen to wiser and more seasoned work-mates and to alter his method.

The person who refuses to follow instructions from people who know better will learn the lesson the hard way.

So, are many people walking around being stupid because they reject teaching? Apparently so, but I don’t think this proverb is saying a person loses brain cells for not listening. Instead, it’s as if they were stupid and brainless, for not accepting teaching, especially when it comes from God’s Word. Anyone with a brain should accept instruction.

If instruction needs to be sought after in order to get to knowledge, a person’s attitude is extremely important. They must come with an attitude of humility, confessing that they don’t know everything and could well be wrong in some way.

Now, what can we learn from this?

Because this is such an open proverb we can apply its truth to all aspects of our lives. Whether we are still under our fathers’ authority, or are under a boss or pastor, we have a great opportunity to be taught well. Those in charge probably have had much more experience and knowledge in life.  It is wise to listen to them.

It is the same with God’s Word. We can’t learn anything from it if we don’t come under its teaching and acknowledge its truth. We need to humble ourselves to be taught to fear the LORD. As Proverbs 1:7 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Amen.

-Thanks for reading! Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of  zigzagpress

A Righteous Life Blesses Many – Proverbs 11:30

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,

And he who wins souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30

Have you had the experience of being around people who are so loving and giving that it’s so easy to bask in that love and to love them back?

It is truly good to be blessed by people with such a way of life, and even better to then seek to pass on that blessing as a legacy.

I feel this is similar to what this proverb is getting at, that the life and deeds of a righteous person are an ever overflowing resource for others.

For me, the idea of a tree of life here hearkens back to the tree in the garden of Eden, and how it was never eaten of. The tree of life here, though, is an accessible and abundant source of blessing.2327591996_b17c5395fd_o

When one lives in such a way, in living by God’s Word every day with love and godliness, people around them are blessed, and there is much growth of character.

The faithful might never realise how many people they’ve helped to grow closer to God. The goal then is not to count one’s friends as any sort of measure, but to seek godliness by reading God’s word and living by it.

People can be drawn to a righteous person, and it is the role of the godly person to then lead them to God with all eagerness.

This is a very evangelistic message for God’s people, Israel, to bring in many who might be searching for God, and to teach them in all things.

Now, what can we learn as Christians?

All goodness comes from God, and we cannot rely on our efforts to become righteous; it’s all reliant on God’s good pleasure and mercy. The aim for the Christian is to become mature in Christ, who makes it possible for us to become holy. Ephesians has a great passage about growing in Christ (Ephesians 4:7-16).

As servants of the gospel, we ought to be seeking out people to tell of the great gift of Jesus offered to sinners all across the world! May we be wise in this. Amen.

-Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Image courtesy of Alexandra Campo

Are You Living Like a Fool? – Proverbs 11:29

He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,

And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.” – Proverbs 11:29

A household that is disjointed and divided against itself can’t function well, as Jesus Himself said, and the first part of this proverb seems to have a similar message.

A member of a household who brings down his family, either through wasteful use of assets, or through causing relational rifts between their parents or children, is shooting themselves in the foot.

How can someone expect good outcomes out of bringing trouble to the people who rely on you to either lead the family or to carry on their legacy?

The problem is that when someone goes down this path, they may not realise how much longer and more effort it will take to restore relations or assets back to where they were.

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His inheritance might end up being separate from family, with little hope of reunion. He might end up desolate on the streets, like in the story of the prodigal son.

Going on from there, more is said here on how unwise living can bring disaster to one’s life.

The fool is the person who has refused good teaching and has chosen instead the wisdom of men as a guide for his life. They have made decisions focused on their well-being, with little regard to others, and have accrued problems for themselves.

Proverbs tends to use extremes, and here we are told that the fool will serve the wise.

Proverbs aren’t to be taken as hard and fast rules, but rather general principles for life, and here we have indications that the wise of heart are fit for being in charge. The foolish person doesn’t stand much of a chance against them, and because of their choices in life finds themselves under their rule. Is this always the case? No, but if we live like fools, we’re asking for problems like these.

Now, what can we learn as Christians?

We are responsible for our attitude and actions in life. What we place priority on we grow in. If we seek in Christ to grow in holiness and to build up and love those around us, we can grow. It is actually the role of the disciple to seek Christ and to reach out to others with Christ.

Jesus’ last words to His disciples in the book of Matthew speak to this, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 )

-Thanks for reading! – Pedrozki (Pete)

Note: All scripture is taken from Bible Gateway and is the New King James Version. I am using a mentor commentary by John A.Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Thoughts or questions? Have your say in the comments section!

Image courtesy of hwanation

The Proverbs of Solomon. – On Proverbs 10:1-3

Pre-post Pointer:

The last 9 chapters of Proverbs have been intense, and they have probably been hard going for most of us. We have been brought through Solomon’s teaching to obey fathers, seek wisdom, flee immorality, avoid evildoers, and fear God, all in detailed form. That is the part of Proverbs that mostly gets ignored when we search for a quote from this book. We are much more familiar with most of the rest of Proverbs, I dare say. As you can see, this is why I chose to go through this book as it reads. This way we don’t leave out the hard or intriguing bits!

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Chapter 10 starts with all that’s familiar from Proverbs, and that’s the sayings. You know, Solomon’s little sayings that are logical and that present both sides of the coin, both for the wise and foolish, the righteous and wicked, the prudent and lazy, and so on. They are both frustratingly black and white and wondrously powerful. Having had the charge to seek wisdom and flee sin from the first 9 chapters, lets read and wrestle with these sayings with God’s help.

 

1 The Proverbs of Solomon: a wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.”

 

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Lawrence OP

Let’s consider this Solomon’s catchphrase. Godly parents want their children to be godly themselves, and so when that is the result of their hard work and prayers, they rejoice. If their children are steadfastly disobedient and unwise, they will grieve over them as wasted time and tears. It’s not always the parents’ fault when their child is unrepentant, but they will feel responsible, nonetheless. It is a parent’s role to teach their child the fear of God and way of obedience, yet it is the role of the child to obey his or her parents. They are similarly responsible.

 

2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.”

 

What are the blessings of wickedness? Diddly Squat. Living a sinful life does not profit in the long run. This is because God is holy, and since He gives life, living in evilness is rejecting our Maker and only accepting His blessings. This may seem to work here in this life, but God will judge us after this life, and condemn the unrepentant to Hell, where there are none of His blessings, only cursing. When God sees instead sees a repentant man clothed in righteousness, the man will be safe from that fate.

 

3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.”

 

Our desires say a lot about us. They show where are hearts are at, and God notices. The man who seeks God and wants wisdom will be blessed by Him. The man who seeks his own ends and forgets God will not get aid from Him. God is always involved in this world. The whole Bible is clear on that. What we do has an impact on how God treats us. We couldn’t expect anything else. We need to rely fully on the grace God provides through Jesus if we ever expect to be seen as righteous. Amen.

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Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.

Wisdom: there before time itself – On Proverbs 8:22-26

How young are you right now? Wisdom is older. How long do you expect to live? Wisdom will outlive your earthly body. While it is a bit silly to think of wisdom having a use-by-date, the idea is to remind you of her timelessness. She comes from God and as long as He wants her around, she will be. She was there, too, at the beginning. That time before time. Before the world itself was formed.

 

22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth.”

 

Wisdom is eternal, as God is eternal. He did and will own wisdom forever.

Wisdom was there when there was nothing but God. No universe, angels, or humans. God did not need these things. God was suffice for His satisfaction. The Father, Spirit, and Son are able to rejoice fully and love each other in perfect unison without praises from creation. Wisdom was there and saw it all. Hard to fathom, but wisdom says she had a pole position to observe the Godhead working together in harmony. No other distractions like the creation in her way.

 

24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 while as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world.”

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macca

Without form or void. That’s what we hear from Genesis 1:1. The earth was formless and valueless before God spoke life into it. These images give me a sense of sadness and longing. I’m impatient to get to the creation (next post)! But I guess I just am a bit blind to God’s own glory and distracted by His works! Wisdom is of old and because of her patience has seen it all. She has waited and watched God a long time and has seen Him do what He wills.

Wisdom partook in creation as well, so her wait was worth it! Come again for the next post. Wisdom beheld wonders. So will we. Amen.

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Let me know your thoughts on this passage and my post.

 

Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.