Beware of Saying “YAY!”

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. – Proverbs 24:17-18 

All Political

As of this writing, we are in a tense political season. Everything from the dog catcher to the future Supreme Court Justice is being hotly debated.

What gets me is the constant digging for dirt … the constant jabbing and sticking it to another … the constant slanted and twisted information leaked to the press … the overall sense that it doesn’t matter the means, as long as the enemy falls.

All it takes is one little suggestion that somebody has something incriminating, some new bit of gossip, some possibly damaging bit of info, for the television to flash with “BREAKING NEWS!!” Then, for the next two days, at least, the smallest piece of supposed dirt will become the most talked about item.

Let’s be completely honest, shall we? Every time there’s any suggestion that the current President may fall from office, the excitement exhibited by the media resembles a child before Christmas morning.

Show Mercy

But if people would only take notice of this bit of wisdom found in Proverbs 24:17-18, they would be more careful with their rejoicing. Notice, God is not taking sides with anyone; He’s only saying that we need to be careful how we react when our enemies fall – Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, or whatever.

“Enemy” could even apply to the one who’s done you harm, the crook that stole from you, or the lover that ditched you for someone else.

Search the Word of God and you will find that He would much rather show mercy than pour out judgment upon evildoers, and that is why the Lord calls for them to repent (Ezekiel 18:32). So, to rejoice with giddy excitement over the fall of your enemy is to run contrary to the nature of God.

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. – Matthew 5:44-45

Those who do end up rejoicing over their enemy’s fall may find themselves disappointed with the end result. 

 

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Thank you, Duolingo

international-2684767_1920I’m learning Swedish.  Slowly.  I have a working vocabulary of, I dunno, 70 words?  Our second granddaughter is 50% Swedish (our son-in-law is 100%), and they live about an hour outside of Stockholm. 

Now, when my son-in-law heard of my little project, he informed me that only 10 million people on the globe speak his language, as compared with the 1.5 billion that speak some form of English, his point being that it wasn’t necessarily practical to learn his native tongue.

Since when does a grandmother need to be practical?? Continue reading


Sweetness and Strength

My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: -Proverbs 24:13, KJV

I can not help but wonder if Solomon was thinking of his father’s friend Jonathan, when Saul was king and made the vow that no one in the army would eat until the Philistines were defeated lest that person be cursed. But Jonathan had not heard this vow and, being hungry after he and his armor bearer had just spent the day beating a garrison of Philistines, ate some honey. (1 Samuel 14)

Jonathan (and Solomon) could see how utterly foolish it was to not eat when doing something so physically challenging. The army even challenged King Saul on this when Saul would not get an answer from God about continuing the fight and then found out it was because of this little bit of honey.

That shows what the next verse means:

So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
Proverbs 24:14, KJV

Saul had not used wisdom in his decisions, and he was willing to kill his son over his foolishness.

Jonathan, however, was spared, for he had sought to know God’s wisdom throughout the day and be strengthened.

What about you?

Do you desire the sweetness of God’s wisdom? Do seek His revitalizing wisdom throughout the day?

Or, like Saul, do you try to get through the day on your own, rarely if ever seeking God’s wisdom?

Do you get frustrated by minor problems, especially by others and then lashing out?

Or do you take time throughout the day to keep the Lord involved in your decisions?

It only takes a moment to stop and seek His help. It is not weakness. It is finding the sweetness in God’s strength.


Is it evil or just bad?

Image result for bad people

King Solomon has some wisdom for me. It is about “evil” or bad people.

God is love (1 John 4:8); the absence of love in a person is un-God-like and therefore evil. And an absence of love manifests itself in unloving behavior. I like to think I am a “good person”. I like to believe the best about others.

Don’t envy evil people; don’t even want to be around them. All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble.

~King Solomon Source: Proverbs 24:1-2

I must consider God’s mercy, justice, patience, etc. The lack of these godly qualities in anyone constitutes evil. That evil then manifests itself in behavior that is unmerciful, unjust, impatient, etc., bringing more harm into the good world that God has made.

As it turns out, we lack a lot: “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’” (Romans 3:10).

  • How does it start? It starts with envy. It is that simple. Maybe it is their wealth or maybe it is their popularity. It is very subtle.
  • What is Gods’ goal for me? God wants me to hang out with good people, his chosen people. Jesus is clear in his mission.
  • Why is God’s goal important? If I hang out with bad people, their influence will rub off on me. They are nothing but trouble.
  • How could things be worse? There are bad people and there are evil people. Evil people are destined for God’s justice. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read that “Good people celebrate when justice triumphs, but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.” (Proverbs 21:15)


No Excuse for Fainting

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. – Proverbs 24:10

Believe me, this verse hurts my feelings about as much as it does some of yours. And it doesn’t matter what translation you use, the painful truth of this proverb is the same: If you faint or fail when times get tough, you’re too weak.

Weak? Who does Solomon think he is? Frankly, that’s pretty insulting, don’t you think?

Who is Solomon to judge me? How does he know what I’ve been through? Yes, I’ve failed, faltered, and fainted in my time, but I had good reason! When the pressure increased, it was too much. When it got tough, well, I wasn’t prepared.

So I gave up, you know?

You’ve been there, haven’t you? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

It is sort of like Solomon is nothing more than some drill instructor who doesn’t understand what life is like for us. Sure, it’s easy for him to say we’re too soft or weak, but what kind of pressure has he had to face, right?

What kind of “wisdom” says to someone, “Hey, I see that you caved…you must be a weakling”?

Where’s the compassion? Where’s the understanding? What about our emotions?

Who writes this kind of stuff, anyway??

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. … But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:29, 31

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Here’s the thing: There’s no excuse for fainting or failing under the pressure or adversity when we have access to strength, armor, and grace from God. Frankly, it comes down to a choice.

But let’s be honest, sometimes we are a little wimpy. Some of us just look for excuses to quit when things don’t go our way. We’re not tough, strong, and determined; we’re weak.

Maybe we should copy this proverb and post where we can see the next time we feel like giving up.

Truth hurts.

 


Church is not about you.

Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. –Proverbs 24:27, KJV

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. –Proverbs 24:27, ESV

Are you a member of your church?

Do you even attend a church?

If you do not have a legitimate physical reason for not going, why? (Disabilities or a work schedule can be good reasons.)

Not liking the decorations or the music are not good reasons (unless, maybe, because the music is theologically horrible! That usually happens in churches teaching the same fluff.)

If you claim that you are not being fed, there is good reason to believe that – sorry to be the bearer of bad news – you are the problem.

If you find yourself saying things like “The message just doesn’t resonate with me” (unless it is for the reason mentioned earlier) or “I have not found something to plug in to,” this is not good enough.

Perhaps the issue is that you keep looking for all of your needs to be met. That is not the purpose of Church.

Church is not all about you.

Maybe you need to start meeting the needs of others, start a Bible study (and, based on your approach thus far, ask a pastor, elder, or someone who is spiritually mature to help), or start asking your pastor questions about the lessons and messages.

If you refuse to actively work the ground of your faith, you may never “feel it” in any church – at least not for long. The most surefire way to “feel it” is to build up the church, to make those around you better by pointing them to Christ.

Then you will find that you have also been building up your house for worship.

Church is not about you. It is about letting Christ use you for His Church, to work the field of souls and build up His Temple of saints.


Hearing Correction

Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. –Proverbs 23:9, KJV

Have you known that person who knows everything?

Even when it is obvious there is a lacking in knowledge?

Perhaps she has been friends with a lot of famous people.

Maybe he knows all about everyone around.

It could be they have done everything and been everywhere.

And then you pull them aside and quietly point out a small error in their story or correct a “fact” they shared.

But there is always an excuse or a way to brush off what you’ve said.

You may even find you have a new enemy (or at least less of a friend).

Or maybe you are that person.

Can you take simple correction? Can you admit you may be wrong? Or do you always have an excuse or ignore those who disagree?

Be wise.

Do not stretch the truth or make up facts. And if someone corrects you, listen and, if needed, admit you’re wrong and change.