16 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.
16 Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners. (NLT)
The straightforward meaning is that you cannot trust everyone. If someone asks for money, you should ask for collateral to ensure you get your money back. It is just like a bank asking for a down payment, or a business asking for a deposit on a service or product.
Getting into an Apartment Home
Apartment buildings have a standard practice of taking a security deposit from incoming tenants. This is to help cover any costs the tenant may incur by leaving early, damaging property, or breaking the law on the premises.
The poorer the credit of a prospective tenant, the higher the security deposit may be.
With great credit, a tenant is able to move in with little to no security deposit as a sign of trust and respect.
Getting into Our Heavenly Home
Thanks to a little act committed by Adam and Eve, we all fall into the same group. Our credit with God is very poor, and we have proven ourselves untrustworthy time and again.. To go home with God requires a security deposit so large that we could never pay it.
Therefore, God paid it for us.
Jesus became a Man. He built up the trust and credit by doing something no one else could: He lived perfectly according to God’s will and laws.
He paid our deposit by sacrificing Himself on a cross and rising from the dead three days later.
Jesus paid it all, for each of us.
All we must do is accept.
Lord, thank You for the cross and paying the cost we could not. Help us to live by Your example for Your glory through the help of the Holy Spirit.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Deposit, Eternal life, Finances, Home, Jesus, money, Security | posted in Money and Finances, Value and Worth
“Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.”
Watch almost any program on television today, and it is easy to see a stark difference from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Programs from the ’50’s and ’60’s promoted good morals, honesty, and integrity. There was rarely a dirty word uttered, married couples had separate beds (let alone hearing about people who were not married having sex), bad guys usually had some sense of decency, and a “wild-child” was considered a black sheep. Liars were corrected. Selfish people were left to their own devices. Yet, forgiveness was promoted and self-control taught.
Look at today:
- It is getting increasingly harder to find shows without foul language, and that language is getting worse and more prevalent all the time.
- Marriage is often portrayed as old-fashioned or as more of a chore than a blessing. Divorce is celebrated. Sleeping around is celebrated. Independence is often valued more highly than cooperation and commitment to a significant other.
- Bad guys are not only more ruthless and vile, but many times they are also celebrated as an anti-hero.
- Partying, promiscuity, binge-drinking, drug use, immaturity, rudeness, and all manner of nastiness to ourselves and others is promoted as a fun and viable alternative to boredom and the status quo.
- Holding grudges and doing what you want is taught as healthy, with just a pinch of forgiveness when it suits us.
The Bible warned us two thousand years ago in 2 Timothy 3 that this is exactly what would happen. Society on the global scale would by and large leave God behind, all of His precepts and promises, and do and promote everything they wanted.
You must ask yourself which path you will follow: The path the world is taking that walks away from God and promotes the self, or the path few choose which is walking with God? (See Matthew 7:13-23)
The path the world takes leads straight to destruction (v. 13), and it is led by many who profess to be Christian or simply “good people” but will also be destroyed (vv. 15-23).
Only those who follow Truth, who choose the narrow path, enter eternal life (v. 14). Only those will find favor with God.
Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Gracious God, thank You for loving us so much that You came to die on the cross to forgive us of our love of sin over You. Help us to choose You over our sinful selfishness. Help us enjoy You, and to love those who choose sin.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Fool, fools, Life, righteous, Sin | posted in Fools, The Righteous
“The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.”
There are two ways to look at this proverb.
The first way is to understand that those who are wise have a good name, may have prosperity in some way, and will be respected. Fools will find that they lose everything, are disgraced, and have trust-issues.
However, since there is ample evidence that the opposite can be true, especially in this upside-down world, let us look at the other meaning of this verse.
As Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 both mention, the fool believes and says that there is no God. The only hope he has is in this world; after this life, all he can expect is destruction.
As for those who pursue Wisdom, there is the promise of eternal life with God. All we have to do is come to Christ with the faith of a child. Jesus said:
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” – Mark 10:14-5 KJV
We have to believe God is who He says He is; otherwise, we are doomed. However, when we live a life of wisdom by following Christ, we are promised glory.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. … And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:14, 17 KJV
Gracious God, guide us in full wisdom that we may not only inherit the chance to live with You in glory, but that we may have a good name on this earth that You might be glorified through us.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Glory, honor, Shame, Wisdom | posted in Fools, Knowledge, Trust the Lord, Warnings, Wisdom
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”
The Lord’s Prosperity
The last entry I wrote on 2:16-19 mentioned people preaching a message other than Christ. One of those mentioned was “wealth and health,” which some have called a “Prosperity Gospel”. Something quite interesting about this passage is that some translations of the Bible mention long life and “prosperity.” The Message puts it this way:
They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well.
Honestly, I like the way the KJV and others put it “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Let us look at what remembering the Lord’s commands means:
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Long life (which I think the NIV does a spectacular job of explaining clearly):
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20, NIV
Keeping wisdom in our hearts – keeping the Lord Jesus in our hearts is the only way to peace and a good life. Jesus is the only good life.
Lord Jesus, dwell in our hearts. Remind us always of Your love and grace, and help us to share You with our world. Bless us, Lord, with all of You.
2 Comments | tags: Book of Proverbs, Christ Jesus, Eternal life, Jesus Christ, New International Version, Peace, Prosperity theology, The Message, Wisdom | posted in Wisdom
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. –Ecclesiastes 9:5, ESV
Today is Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther igniting the Reformation movement away from the Roman Catholic Church.
This means it is also Halloween.
And you know what? Halloween can be fun.
Yes. There is a lot of paganism in the history of this day.
Yes. This is a high holiday for many Wiccans and other pagans, attempting to connect with spirits and even demons.
Most people today do NOT participate in that.
While over the next few days many cultures either worry about or celebrate deceased loved ones visiting this world, Ecclesiastes 9:5 reminds us that the dead have no real concern for this world.
Either they are headed for destruction and railing at God, or they are with Christ and worshiping Him.
We try to show we are not afraid of death by dressing up as (un)dead things and people, and we sometimes claim we are remembering the dead. At best we are remembering a shadow, only the best or the worst of someone. In truth, the memory is just that: a shadow.
And most people – if they are honest – are afraid of death. Some want to be reunited with lost loved ones, but they rarely know what they are wishing for.
This is starting to get long, so let us remember:
- the fear of death is misplaced,
- the memories of the dead are never perfect,
- and the afterlife will be nothing like any of fully expect (if it all correct).
Instead, it is:
- the fear of the Lord that gives us hope for the afterlife;
- and the dead may not remember much of this life, but the Lord forgets our sins if we are found in Christ and brought into everlasting life.
And instead of getting caught up in the where and why of the history of Halloween, may we focus on sharing the truth of Life with those in this world who are still walking in darkness and death.
Leave a comment | tags: Dead, death, Ecclesiastes, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Fear, Fear of the Lord, Fear the Lord, Halloween, hope, Life, Memories, memory, Reformation | posted in Fear of the Lord, Knowledge
For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.
Proverbs 23:18, KJV
Surely there is a future [and a reward], And your hope and expectation will not be cut off.
Proverbs 23:18 AMP
One of the most misappropriated verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The reason thos verse is so misapplied to lives is that many people tend to think God will never let them suffer but only prosper.
The full context of this verse is that God is sending Israel into exile as punishment for breaking His covenant! He orchestrated suffering!
But it was for a future glory!
Using the two different translations today was for showing how rich today’s verse is.
We need the reminder that there is a tomorrow. Today’s struggles are temporary, because the future is coming.
That future may have problems. In fact, God also told us that a great time of suffering will happen before the Lord’s return.
But the temporal future has an end, when Jesus returns!
Just as Jeremiah reminded us, there will be suffering, but God has a plan! Yes, things will get bad, but remember that He holds the future. This gives us hope!
Trust in Jesus, and the future holds our reward of eternal friendship and peace.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, End of the World, Eternal life, Eternity, future, hope, Jeremiah, Plan, Reward, struggles | posted in hope, Trust the Lord
He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. –Proverbs 19:16 KJV
The are two ways to take this verse. Both are simple.
Don’t break the law.
Obey laws, and things should go well in your life. Break the law, and you will suffer the consequences.
Obey God’s Law.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:37-40, KJV
If you truly want to keep your soul, love God and love others.
The Bible explains how. Read it.
Leave a comment | tags: Bible, Book of Proverbs, Die, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, God's Law, instructions, Law, Obey, paths of life, Soul, The law | posted in Instruction, Paths of Life
Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. -Proverbs 15:10, KJV
The Bible is clear: we are all sinners in need of a change of heart and a Savior from the penalty of sin.
Those who think it is shameful and wrong to call people sinners … hate to hear they need to change.
It may grieve them to hear they need to change, but they stop there, feeling hurt and offended… and all that is left for them is everlasting death.
A good kind a grief is being corrected and feeling remorse for sin. That remorse should lead to repentance, a changing of mind about what is true and good, and turning to the everlasting life found in Christ.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, death, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, life and death, paths of life, Warnings | posted in Paths of Life, Warnings
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning away from the snares of death. -Proverbs 14:27
Many stories – movies, books, television shows – have focused on the fountain of youth, the mythical spring/pool that endows those who bathe in/drink from it with healing, restored youth, and enduring vitality.
Similarly, the search for the cup of Christ – the cup Jesus drank from at the last supper and then later collected His blood, therefore having the same qualities as the fountain of youth – has been a perennial story, stretching back to Arthurian legend.
Even the so-called Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s stone – again, restoring and prolonging life – has been a goal for many, and popularized most recently in the “Harry Potter” series.
Many people have dreamt of finding any or all of these, and some of those have tried.
However, these should be understood as what they are stories.
Stories that point to the truth:
Everlasting life is found only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, we fear the wrath of God, and then we driven to the cross, where Christ’s sacrifice rescued us from that fate.
This is how “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning away from the snares of death.” The only fountain of life is found in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Christ Jesus, Cup of Christ, Eternal life, Fear of the Lord, Fountain of life, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Life, Philosopher's Stone, Sorcerer's Stone | posted in Fear of the Lord, Jesus
If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it. -Proverbs 9:12, KJV
I argued with this verse. Wisdom won (naturally):
Me: “What do you mean?! My wisdom could benefit others, and my scorning of wisdom could hurt others!”
Wisdom: “Ah, but what is the deeper meaning of what I am telling you?”
Me: “Am I wrong?”
Wisdom: “No, but do I lead to, as you quoted me as saying before?”
Me: “The fear of the Lord … OH!”
If we listen to Wisdom, we are led to salavific knowledge. We see our need for a Savior, for Jesus the Messiah. We may lead others to Christ, but it is our own soul that is affected. We cannot do that for others.
If we scorn Wisdom, we deny we need the help of the Savior. We may lead others astray, but it is our own soul that is affected.
As I asked yesterday, how do YOU respond to God’s Wisdom? Do you scorn Wisdom or affirm Wisdom? Do you choose eternal life or death?
Leave a comment | tags: affirmation, Book of Proverbs, Choice, Choices, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Lady Wisdom, paths of life, Scorn, Wisdom | posted in Paths of Life, Wisdom