Category Archives: desire

Sustaining the Righteous

The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. -Proverbs 10:3, KJV

Several other translations write this verse to say that God will not let His people go hungry, but He denies the cravings and desires of the wicked.

We can see this as the same kind of promise Jesus gave:

“Look at the birds, whom God feeds. Look at the flowers, whom God clothes better than Solomon in his great clothes. How much more does the Father want to take care of you?” (Matthew 6:25-34)

My wife and I have been through much in our relatively short nine years of marriage, times when there was not enough money in our bank account to pay all the bills, let alone to buy basic necessities. But God took care of us during those times.

However, Jesus started this section of scripture by saying, “Isn’t life more than food and clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)

What, then does God’s Word promise us, if we cannot trust that we will always have enough food to feel full?

In John 4, Jesus was talking to His disciples, immediately after the Samaritan woman by the well left Him, when He said, “I have food you do not know about … to do the will of the one who sent me.” (vv. 32-34)

Back in Matthew 6, He says to seek first the Kingdom of God, and everything else will be given to you (v. 33).

Therefore, the KJV certainly says it best in today’s verse, for it is implied that God takes care of His people, but the deeper and more obvious (based on the plain reading) meaning is this:

God fulfils the spiritual needs of His people, saving and nourishing their souls, but He ultimately removes the wicked, casting them into Hell.

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Defiled From Within

Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. -Proverbs 7:25‭-‬27, KJV

Proverbs chapter seven, as we have abundantly discussed lately, is a warning against an immoral woman.

As Anthony pointed out, women are just as guilty as men as regards aggressively pursuing physical satisfaction. And as Dawn reminded us, we need a lot of reminding of the dangers.

Hence, the New Testament did so, too, reminding us as usual that it goes farther than just sex:

  • And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.
    2 Peter 2:2, ESV
  • They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
    Ephesians 4:18‭-‬19, ESV
  • Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    Galatians 5:19‭-‬21, ESV
  • For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
    Mark 7:21‭-‬23, ESV

I highlighted one word in particular: sensuality.

Why?

Our western culture is so steeped in sensuality that we barely notice it, but Peter, Paul, and even the Lord Jesus warned us that (outside of marriage) it is a dangerous tempter straight out of and that leads straight to hell.

And sensuality (and other things) lives in us.

This is why we need so many reminders.


Brazen Church Girl

Today I decided to post a rerun from 2012. I couldn’t say it any better if I re-wrote it today.

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school, who know exactly what they want, and how to get it. Consider the words of this mother…

“I have a very outgoing, charming, attractive 15-year-old son. I have literally been chasing the girls away from the door ever since the seventh grade. … The aggressiveness and promiscuity of young girls nowadays is beyond words. Their dress is so alluring and inviting to a young man, what’s a guy to do? Moreover, what’s a mom to do?” (source, Family Life Today)

“Impudent face…”

It is amazing how people can look you right in the eye and tell a bold-face lie. That is what this woman was doing. The Hebrew word translated here as “impudent” could also be translated as brazen. She just looked this naive boy in the face and told him what he wanted to hear.

“Peace offerings…vows…found thee.” 

It is obvious in verses 14 and 15 that something doesn’t add up. Why is it that a woman of the night would be telling this young man about how she went to church? Oh, it’s pretty simple, really. She was just saying what a good Jewish boy wanted to hear.

Here was the total, irresistible package: a young, gorgeous and religious woman calling out to be rescued from breaking the Law. “I am so glad I found you! You’re the answer to my prayers! This must be God’s will,” she essentially said.

In the Old Testament, when a peace offering was made, the leftover meat was to be eaten that night, and no later (Lev. 7:15). She presented her case in such a way that said, “We have to do this now!” She played to his religious chivalry.

When this woman grabbed the man, kissed him, lied to him, and trapped him, she did it with everything that said: “This must be a good girl – she’s only trying to do the right thing – and she likes me!” I can almost imagine him repeating the words of an old Debbie Boone song, “This can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

A Prayer

Oh, Lord God, open our eyes to the tricks of the Enemy! Give us the wisdom we need to discern between a treasure far above rubies (Prov. 31:10) and a trap. Help us to teach our sons and daughters to be godly. Help us to be parents who set the example.


All You Preach About Is Sex

The Complaint

Preach long enough – like one time – and somebody will probably complain. Preach multiple sermons week after week, year after year, and you’ll become used to complaints…because you can’t please all the people all the time…but it ain’t about pleasing people, anyway.

However, several years ago a deacon came up to me with a complaint from a visitor/former member… Wait, may I digress for a moment?

I absolutely hate it when people are sent to tell me what someone else was too afraid to tell me to my face. Do you remember writing those “Do you like me” notes in elementary school? Well, a lot of adults do the same thing when they send a complaint to the pastor via a deacon or elder. Grow up, people!

Anyway, several years ago a former member who was visiting a church where I was pastor got upset and said he was not bringing his family back. Why (and I know this because the deacon told me so)? He said all I ever preached about was SEX!

He said if that was all I was going to preach about, then he could just take his family to a movie or stay at home and watch TV.

But if the truth be known (clearing my throat), this man and his family only visited the church twice in one year, and it just so happened that the sermons they heard were the only two I preached that year which specifically addressed sexual sin. One sermon, I believe, dealt with faithfulness in marriage, and the other was from a passage like Proverbs 5, one which sounded the alarm about pornography addiction in the church.

Honestly, I can’t help but wonder if “just so happened” was the correct way to put it. God gave me those sermons for a reason.

The Catastrophe

The fact of the matter is that sex sells, pure and simple. Everything from burger joints to auto manufacturers bait their products with the allure of sexual gratification. Heck, every time I drive down the main road through my town I see a regularly-updated billboard featuring nothing more than a girl’s legs in short khaki shorts – all to sell shoes.

But sex does more than sell products. When used the wrong way, it can be a nearly-irresistible tool of mass destruction. It can be used to lead men, both young and old, into a life of misery, self-destruction, and total enslavement to addiction.

Even more tragic is what the sellers of sex do with those they use to tempt their prey. Think of all the horror and abuse that permeates the sex slave industry. Is this what God designed?

Proverbs 5 is just as relevant today as it was 3,000 years ago…no matter how many times you preach it – and it’s not preached enough!

 


I would encourage you to read this week’s posts, but also take a look at the previous posts from our first trip through Proverbs 5:1-23 on Proverbial Thought.

You can find links to them listed in the tabs at the top of the page, but I will copy the links below for your convenience.

5:1-2 “Pay Attention” – Daniel Klem

5:3-5 “Deadly Lips” – Anthony Baker

5:6 “Unpredictable Women” – Anthony Baker

5:7-9 “Run Away! Run Away!” – Anthony Baker

5:10-14 “Reason for the Warning” – Daniel Klem

5:15-17 “Drink Your Own Water” – David Welford

5:18-20 “Get Drunk On Love!” – Grady Davidson

5:21-23 “Stay On the Path” – Jason Sneed


My Daughters

Proverbs 31:29 

“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

What Matters

Over the years I have met many people. Sadly, many of those cared not about the virtues praised in this chapter, only fame, popularity, wealth, and beauty. Parents are often more concerned with whether or not their daughters make the team, wear the crown, win the ribbon, get the rich husband, or fit into that certain dress.

IMG_8999

Alicia on her wedding day.

However, I don’t care so much about all those things. Sure, I want my daughters to be liked and well-off. It even makes me swell with pride when they win awards or turn heads with a glamorous gown. What matters to me is that they become women of honor, courage, strength, and faith. What matters most is that they honor God.

Praise

Unfortunately, most girls get praised for being sexy, selfish, and seductive. Instead of praising the hard-working woman who is faithful to her husband and God, who takes care of her family, we tune in each week to reality shows that make millionaires out of harlots and place a premium on vanity, not virtue.

Haley and Katie @ Bryan College

Moms and dads, husbands, it is our responsibility to praise the woman “that feareth the Lord” (31:30). Whether they be young and in school, or mothers and grandmothers, our “daughters” should be praised for doing “virtuously.” And what higher praise could there be than to say, “Of all the virtuous, godly, Proverbs 31-like women in the world, you are the best“?

That is the praise my wife desires. That’s the praise I hope to teach my daughters to seek.

 


Ready and Willing

Proverbs 31:17

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (KJV)
17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (NIV)

Not Lazy and Ready

As we continue looking at the noble wife (or any woman, really), we see that she is not lazy.

She girdeth her loins with strength …” or “She sets about her work vigorously …I”
She prepares herself for what she must do each day, and she does not wait to get started.

… and strengtheneth her arms” or “her arms are strong for her tasks.
She can do what she needs to do because she has prepared herself. She is ready for surprises because she can handle them.

It takes a level of excitement and a lot of love to prepare yourself and take care of your family and friends. This is the crux of the matter.

Ready and Willing

Jesus prepared the way for His Bride to succeed, as well. Through His ministry, death, and resurrection, Jesus set the stage for the Church with love and a level of excitement.

As the Church, we must make sure we are prepared and strong. This takes regular time reading the Bible, in prayer, and talking with our brothers and sisters in Christ. This opens our hearts and minds to the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ in us, to fulfill our tasks and be ready for anything.

May our love for Christ compel us to be prepared and strong. Then we are better prepared for and stronger in our other relationships, including as husband and wife.

Great Lord and Loving Friend, thank You for preparing and strengthening us. Help us to trust in Your wisdom and strength, and may we continually seek more strength and wisdom.


Bloodsuckers!

Proverbs 30:15-16

“The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.”

Leaches

Different sources disagree as to what a “horseleach” actually is, at least in the context of this verse. However, the general consensus is that what this proverb is referring to is a leach of some sort. Either way you put it, however you define it, a leach is a leach.

I am not a leach expert, so what I am about to say about the nasty parasite should not be taken as the gospel truth, but it seems that leaches have suckers at both ends. This could be why this proverb describes the horseleach as having two “daughters” that cry, “Give! Give!

Unsatisfied

Verse sixteen describes four things that are never satisfied. The first is the grave, followed by a “barren womb,” the dry earth, and then fire. All four are linked to the leach, the bloodsucker, that is never satisfied, always wanting more and more.

The grave yards are not getting smaller. As a matter of fact, in some places like Japan grave spaces are rented because space is so limited. Death and the grave keep crying out, “More! More!”

I have known women that cannot have children, yet their desire never goes away. I have watched water get soaked up by dry ground. I have often witnessed the insatiable desire of flames as they burn with increasing fury, yet are never satisfied with what they have destroyed. Perpetual unsatisfaction is a pitiful thing to witness.

I Can’t Get No

Do you remember the old song by the Rolling Stones, “Satisfaction?” In my mind I can hear the famous phrase Mick Jagger repeated over and over throughout the song, “I tried, and I tried, and I tried, and I tried.” And no matter how hard he tried, still he would say, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

But that’s the world for ya’. Nothing in this world has any lasting effects. No thirst is ultimately quenched…no burning desire is ever fully satisfied…no expectation is ever completely realized. Even when people get what they think they want, they find they “can’t get no satisfaction.”

The Well

However, there is hope. There is hope for the weary, the heavy-laden, the lonely, the wounded, the hungry, and those whose thirst is beyond anything a mountain spring can quench.

In the book of John, chapter four, we read about a woman that came to draw water from a well. She was thirsty. But at that well she met Jesus.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.”  But then he said, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

What is the answer to an undying thirst? The Water of Life.