Tag Archives: Strong

Which Strong Man Do You Fear?

Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge. -Proverbs 19:25 KJV

Why do guys like hitting each other?

It seems silly, but a lot of guys do it.

However, we see those who can knock someone out cold with one punch or kick through a brick wall, and everyone else agrees, “Don’t mess with him!”

But is that all?

Look at the recently rebranded debate over the death penalty. Pope Francis called it “inadmissable” for governments to kill using the death penalty.

But, as a friend said to me about locks on doors, it may serve to “keep the honest people honest.” Or at the very least it warns those who may want to commit a crime that there are severe consequences, and they will simply beware the dangers and avoid the crime.

Things should be different.

Why aren’t they different? We fail to live out the two greatest commandments: Love God and love others.

We get too focused on our own wants and needs, and it leads to mistreating others.

A wise person, though, will see the law or hear the admonition against things and think, “I can see how that might hurt others.” At the very least, he or she would want to learn more about why we should or should not do something. This keeps them out of trouble in the first place!

But you better believe there’s a deeper meaning to this!

A simple person will look at the cross of Christ and think “Don’t make waves” or “Religion causes problems.”

But the point of the Cross is that God has a Law that no one can meet, but Jesus did and made a way for us by sacrificing Himself on that cross. The wise person understands our sinful nature and seeks to avoid the condemnation our lawlessness brings. This person seeks out the truth of Christ to believe and be saved.

In this world, big, strong guys impress and intimidate us.

At the end of this world, The Big Guy will finally reveal His strength as His wrath is poured out on those who refuse to believe.

Who do you fear more?

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The Way to Go

Proverbs 4:11-12

“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.”

A Way Walked

The first part of this passage is fairly simple to understand. In a moment of recollection, Solomon is reminding his children that he has given them good instruction; that he has led them.The best teachers are those who can say, “I have been down that road.” Sure, it is easy to give directions, but how much more valuable is the instruction when the teacher can relay first-hand experience?

As a bus driver, I drive the same route every day. I could draw a map that would be as accurate as one printed. But the difference between my map and an image from a satellite would be my knowledge of hazards unique to the vehicle. Unlike automobiles, 40 foot buses aren’t able to straighten some curves, or go under some bridges. Maps don’t usually show those things; but experience will.

Solomon is telling his children, as God is telling us, that the way ahead will be much easier if we listen to those who have gone before.

A Parental Challange

One interesting thing to note is where Solomon says “I have taught thee…” A deeper look at the word taught will show that it also means “to throw, to shoot.” Let this be a reminder – children are ours for a purpose.

In Psalm 127:5 David refers to children as “arrows” in a quiver. Arrows are worthless unless they are used. Arrows are worthless unless they are sharp, straight, and designed for a specific target. Children are to be considered tools with a mission, and we are to train them and keep them until we launch them toward their goals.

Straight, or Not?

Another interesting thing to consider is the word “straightened.” At first glance, we might consider the word here to mean the same as implied in the phrases “straight and narrow,” or “straight as an arrow.” Why, then, does Solomon say “thy steps shall not be straightened?” Does he want them to encounter curves along the way?

Actually, the word here is yatsar (Strong’s H3334), which can mean “to bind, be distressed, be in distress, be cramped, be narrow.” In reality, Solomon is saying that if one follows wise instruction, the way ahead will be less stressful, less binding, less depressing.

Thinking about this, I am immediately reminded of a particular place on the path through Rock City (a tourist attraction near Chattanooga, TN). It is called “fat man’s squeeze.” Seriously, if you are over 250 pounds, you might not make it through this narrow passage between two huge walls of rock. Yet, if you follow the signs along the way, you will be led to a different way around this “squeeze.”

If we would just follow wise counsel, the chances are much better that we will reach our goals, instead of stumbling or getting stuck along the way.