Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

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>Proverbs 9:1-6

In Proverbs,Theology on June 22, 2010 by mstevensrev

>1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,
4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

This is a greets invitation. Food, wine, and simple enough for the simple to get it. There are many complicated things in this life, but wisdom clearly demonstrates that there see also clear simple things too.

Too often we confuse ourselves or others confuse us by making things overly complicated. This is a trick. Do what you can to understand what you can and make that clear to others. Acknowledge where things are grey and you are not sure, nothing wrong with that. Too often I feel taken advantage by others with complicated arguments, I feel that somehow they are just smarter than me and I am the one lacking wisdom. While sometimes the case, often it is not. Stick to the simple things of God, do them, and you will see.

Articles

>Proverbs 8:32-36

In devotional,faith,Proverbs on June 20, 2010 by mstevensrev

>32 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

This is the close for Lady Wisdom, probably going to be very costly right? Listen. That’s all. Listen to her, wait, find her. Everyone knows this is the hardest thing to do at times. We have agendas, passions, important things that others must be made aware of or else they will never know. Wisdom requires we set that to the side and give an attentive heart or ear.

To me this is a clear connection with Proverbs and the Gospel. The Gospel is good news and calls that we also listen. 95% of what Christians believe is similar to any other moral code from the existence of civilization. Yet the 5% that is based on set aside what you are driven by and listen, wait, find Jesus is very different. In Proverbs wisdom is personified by Lady Wisdom, in the New Testament Wisdom is incarnated in Jesus, who was fully God and fully man. That which is still fuzzy in Proverbs is made clear in the person of Jesus Christ.

This instruction to listen is followed by a promise (or blessing) and a consequence (or a curse). Favor comes along with watching and finding. If you are too busy talking, not looking, distracted you injure yourself and you love death. To me this is one of those places you should not over think, the message is clear life or death.

Articles

>Proverbs 8 :1-11

In Bible,Proverbs,work on June 8, 2010 by mstevensrev

>The Blessing of Wisdom

1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

Here is the second woman reaching out to men is the streets in the book of Proverbs, Wisdom or in verse one she is also called understanding. The substance of her message varies from the other woman of proverbs in that Wisdom raises herself up whereas the other woman talks about what you can get away with. Wisdom in this passage appears more self centered, though her benefits are also clearly listed.

Her words are straight – no confusion, she says what she means
Right – that means good all the time
Better than our desires – this is the biggest difference between the two ladies, the first only talked about how she can fulfill the desires of young men. Wisdom simply says she is better than those desires. Often those desires get fulfilled or change. God does not leave you hanging forever with things you desire, now that’s not to say that His timing is my timing so I might feel like it is taking forever. What are these better things:
Instruction-there is a way that life just works out better, we can fight it, try to be more enlighten, but at the end of all our striving God has created the world with a particular order and we thrive when we work within it
Knowledge-the right thing to do at the right moment, knowledge separate from action is mental masturbation. One professor in seminary I had said that you never know something until you live it and I agree.
Wisdom-knowledgeable insight into the way the world works that allows you to take and instruct others in right action. This will be looked at in depth throughout the rest of this chapter and as the theme of Proverbs looked at through the rest of the book.

Articles

>Godly Leadership

In church,leadership,Proverbs on May 11, 2009 by mstevensrev

>This last weekend I went on my first ever session retreat. It was the five elders of our church locked away in the woods to discuss the big picture of what is happening at the church. We prayed, we laughed, and we got some good things done from my perspective. Here are the bullet points of what went on without the specifics:

There is a call for us to be more personally involved broadly in the life of the church.
There are situations within our church that we are seeking guidance in how to manage.
There is great opportunity for us with both church planting and training pastors.
We have a really amazing staff from full time pastors, chief musician, to operations!

Though in reflecting on it this morning I started thinking about what does leading God’s people look like and what should it look like. I know there are extremes when it comes to any practice of authority. Some think street fighters are authoritative and some think any authority is evil.

There are a few things I’m thinking and a few points I got from the Proverb I read this morning:

First authority is from God, he is the authority, and then he passes some of it on. The church is really only confirming that which is already there rather than placing it upon someone. Also it also means it is not something to be “worked” toward or stolen.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.

I am probably the most talkative on the sesson which makes me concerned about the 11:12 verse:) This does not summarize everything on Godly Leadership but it got my juices going today.

Articles

>Proverbs 7:10-27

In Proverbs on May 15, 2008 by mstevensrev

>

10 And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
11 She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
14 “I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16 I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
20 he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”

21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
23 till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24 And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death.

So she is tricky. Not only is the young man in the wrong part of town, now he is around this lady who seems very willing to get to know him. She is out preying for young men. They are out foolishly seeking her. There is this beautiful set up where things seem pretty good, kisses, nice linens, rest and other benefits in her nice house…then you find out it is filled with bones. She is in Sheol, you are going to die.

Coming up next is the wooing of lady wisdom.

Articles

>Proverbs 7:6-9

In Proverbs on May 13, 2008 by mstevensrev

>6 For at the window of my house
I have looked out through my lattice,
7 and I have seen among the simple,
I have perceived among the youths,
a young man lacking sense,
8 passing along the street near her corner,
taking the road to her house
9 in the twilight, in the evening,
at the time of night and darkness.

Creepy. The father is looking out his window…don’t we all:) What he sees is a bunch of idiot young men who are making simple mistakes. The lack of sense leads them to walk on paths they shouldn’t be on. Stay the course, find your house and make yourself at home!

Articles

>Proverbs 7:1-5

In Proverbs on May 12, 2008 by mstevensrev

>7:1 My son, keep my words
and treasure up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live;
keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words.

These lessons are the important ones. None more important for a young man in the ANE culture than to remember to be wise and stay away from women you are not supposed to be with. This is pretty much the same today. You can over spiritualize the meaning and turn the forbidden woman into anything that you are not supposed to be healing, just chose one of the ten commandments or any of the hundred in the New Testament. But the simple meaning seems the most correct.

Make the commandment the apple of your eye. Often times as a Reformed Christian I do not delight in the law, probably some left over from Luther teaching me to not get hung up on it. Bind it on your fingers, find a way to remind yourself to do what is right. Sometimes because of who I am it is just easier to do wrong, if I simply remind myself it can save me from doing wrong. What reminders do I have in my life. One is reading, this to me is the greatest way to be reminded.

Articles

>Proverbs 6:20-35

In Proverbs on April 30, 2008 by mstevensrev

>20 My son, keep your father’s commandment,
and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them on your heart always;
tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will lead you;
when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
27 Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished.
30 People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31 but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
32 He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Proverbs number one message, don’t be a fool (seek wisdom positively). Proverbs number two message, fools commit adultery. Every time I blog on this it is cause for my wife to check in with me and make sure I’m not giving in to temptation, no problem, these are good things to talk about. God promises us many good things, but we are continually reminded to be thankful and faithful with that we have been given. Husbands and wives are gifts of God to each other, and we should treasure each other!

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>Proverbs 6:12-19

In Proverbs on April 29, 2008 by mstevensrev

>

12 A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech,
13 winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
14 with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

Worthless. I normally do not think of people that way. Yet the Proverbs does. Those people who talk with crooked speech. They are trying to trick people, lame, it just messes up anything everyone’s trying to do. Wink with his eyes, now I wink at my daughters all the time. So I hope this doesn’t put me in the worthless category. Mine is an act of love and affection, theirs is a signal, pointing while planning evil. What happens to these folks? They get theirs.

Six things God hates, seven make the list complete:
1. Haughty eyes- arrogant, selfish vision…God likes people who look out for others because it is what he does.
2. Lying tongue- need I say more
3. Hands that shed innocent blood- I’ll only comment you had better be sure that they are not innocent if you choose to shed their blood
4. a heart that devises wicked plans
5. fee that hurry to run to evil- running isn’t enough you hurry to run
6. lying about what you saw to get someone else in trouble- destroys the fabric of society
7. one who starts fights with brothers- this makes me think about all the Christian’s I hate and how I need to respond to them.

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>Proverbs 6:6-11

In Proverbs,work on April 23, 2008 by mstevensrev

>6 Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
8 she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

Laziness will get you no where. Look at the ants, they bust their hump without anyone telling them what to do, just so they have something to eat. Nothing will send you to the poor house faster than laziness. Don’t be afraid of work, there is an aspect of it…even this side of heaven…that brings joy. Yes there is lots of BS, do what is in your power to eliminate that, pray about the BS out of your power, and throw yourself into things that satisfy you. Look at the people around you and think about how you can make them better. Trust that it will work out for your good.

That is currently what I need to remember. Again I had one year experience in my job and then our company was acquired. Everything changed, and I had to get to learning all over again. I spent four years learning how to write theology papers, now I have to learn what makes a good business case, and that is just one small example. In the midst of all that major movements are happening with an account I am involved with, so I am called to trust. Work hard at what is before me, try to make those around me look good, and trust that it will work out because God is in control.