They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
Any person with a froward heart, a heart that is turned away from God, is seen as an abomination, something detestable to God.
These people do their own thing. They avoid responsibility for their sin and/or justify their sin. They assume their rightness, even if the evidence shows otherwise.
The NIV starts this verse “The Lord detests men of perverse heart“. Remember what was said on verse three, that we all have perverse hearts and minds and are in need of a Savior.
Upright and Blameless
The NIV finishes this verse “but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.” Remember what has been said many times in these devotionals as well as in the Bible, that Jesus of Nazareth is the only one who is truly upright and blameless.
Fortunately for us perverse and froward people, Jesus’ death and resurrection provided a way for us to be seen as upright and blameless. All we must do is continue to believe in the Gospel and allow God to change us (Colossians 1:21-23, Hebrews 9:14).
When Christ is the center of our lives, we are seen as blameless and upright in God’s sight.
Gracious Father, thank You for making a way for us. Help us in our faith. Help us overcome our sinfulness and live upright lives in Your sight.
1 Comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Froward, paths, righteous, The Wicked, Upright | posted in Paths of Life, The Righteous, The Wicked
“When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.”
It’s Not Political
It is so hard to comment on these verses without sounding political. And believe me, as a pastor, the last thing you want to do is sound political – that’s when they start sharpening the blade on the guillotine.
But it should be obvious to anyone who reads these words that there is a connection between morality and a healthy community. It should also be obvious that left to the unrighteous, a city will fall into ruin, if not be overthrown.
Yet, here in America, for example, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is doing everything it can to strip Christianity from public life. Did you get that? It’s “from” religion, as opposed to “freedom of religion.”
One of the primary objects of attack by the FRF is prayer in public places. Their efforts have resulted in football teams being prohibited from praying before games. They have managed to keep graduating valedictorians from thanking God for their success. They are even trying to prohibit city, county, and state officials from asking God’s blessing on government meetings. What fools!
Don’t they realize it is by the “blessing of the upright” that the city (or county, or state, or nation) is “exalted?” Yet, the righteous are being forced into silence, while the “mouths of the wicked” broadcast night and day.
“Don’t bless me!”
It wasn’t long ago that few people sued to force employees of different retail stores to quit saying, “Have a blessed day.” They said it made them feel “uncomfortable” to have religion “forced” on them. They said that “a business is no place for religion.” Talk about being hyper-sensitive! These “wicked” people could not stand the thought of being “blessed” by God? Why wouldn’t anyone want to be blessed?!
Sadly, because of government administrations that encourage immorality, the “wicked” have developed a stronger voice with which they have been shouting down the righteous. However, if the peoples of the world would only listen to Solomon, they would spend far less money fighting gangs, crime, drug abuse, violence, abuse, and internal corruption, and more time rejoicing.
If the “cities” and their leaders would only let a few more “upright” bless them, they might not be overthrown.
Have a blessed day!
Leave a comment | tags: blessing, Book of Proverbs, Christianity, Politics, prayer, Solomon, The Wicked | posted in blessing, hope, The Wicked, Warnings
“Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
Have you ever heard the old adage, “Like water off a duck’s back?” The reason for that saying comes from the fact that ducks never get “wet,” just in the water ( now that will preach!). You see, because of the oil in a duck’s feathers, the duck can be in the water, have water poured over it, etc., but never actually get wet. The water doesn’t soak in, but runs off.
My head is similar to a duck’s back. There is nothing on my head to make anything stay put. Everything just runs off, down my neck, and under my shirt, especially when it rains. The upside is that I never have to dry my hair when I get out of the shower.
But the awesome thing is that no matter how slick my bald head is, God is able to heap blessing after blessing on top of it. My glasses won’t stay put; hats get blown off; I cant wear flowers; but the Lord can pile blessings as high as He wants. How is that? Must be a God thing.
I don’t deserve blessings. I don’t deserve anything from God. If you only knew me like I know me, you’d wonder how any blessing would stay on my head. Yet, my Lord is merciful. He is able to do what man and water can’t.
The mouth of the wicked, on the other hand, is covered up with violence. What that means exactly is debatable, but the idea implied is that one usually gets what he deserves. The wicked can be compared to a swimmer in wool clothing and a wool coat. When he gets in the water, he’s sunk.
Generally speaking, this proverb tells us that there are consequences for our actions. The way we live will come back either to bless or haunt us. Right living brings peace, while wicked living never ends well.
Do you want to be thought well of? Live justly. Do you want to reap the rewards of righteousness? Live right. Otherwise, even though there may be some temporary benefits to living like the Devil, the end result of wickedness will have you covering your mouth in shame.
Jesus, even though I am not worthy, thank you for your blessings. My righteousness is in you. I am only “just” because “the just shall live by faith.” Thank you for your mercy, for when I was yet wicked, you saved me, cleansed me, and put a crown on my head. You are my glory, and I will praise you for your immeasurable goodness to me.
Leave a comment | tags: blessings, Book of Proverbs, devotional, ducks, faith, inspiration, Righteousness, The Wicked, Wisdom | posted in blessing, Mercy, Reward, The Righteous, The Wicked
An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked. –Proverbs 29:27 KJV
I was ready to write about politics, and angry partisanship. And this verse certainly can speak to partisan politics.
However, I just want to speak the truth:
There are only two sides in this historical and eternal battle: with God or against Him (Matthew 12:30).
There are no other ways or sides, and this leads to many people seeing Christians, and by extension God, as narrow-minded (which is true, to a point – Matthew 7:14), even evil, for saying not everyone is good or can get to God their own way.
But, if Jesus truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, then there is no other path to God (John 14:6).
If you do what God calls evil, you are a wicked sinner. But if you repent of your evil ways (change the way you think and act – Romans 12:1-2) and believe Jesus died for your punishment to cover your wickedness and rose again to life, then you are on His side (Acts 2:38-39).
To refuse the leading of the Holy Spirit to believe in Christ is choose to be against God (Matthew 12:31, John 8:44).
Leave a comment | tags: anti-Christ, Baptized, Believe, Book of Proverbs, Christ, Politics, Repent, Sides, The Righteous, The Wicked | posted in Fear of the Lord, Paths of Life, The Righteous, The Wicked
A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved. -Proverbs 12:3, KJV
I can already hear what some people are saying:
If a man can’t be established by wickedness, then why do so many tyrants, despots, and fearmongerers take power?
The short answer is that they have effectively sold their souls to the Devil.
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Here is the kicker, though: we know that their foundation is weak. Christ is the firm foundation on which stand.
These leaders are like trees growing in dry, drought-wrought land. They seem strong and powerful, but when storm clouds come, they will be easily uprooted.
As Christians, however, we are grafted into the strong Root of Jesse.
And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
When Jesus returns (or these leaders die), then it will be known how faulty their foundations were, that God is the only true foundation to have. Their roots will be torn up, but our powerful God is our own root.
Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Devil, Good foundations, hope, Jesus, Kingdoms, paths of life, righteous, Sell your soul, The Wicked, Warning | posted in Paths of Life, The Righteous, The Wicked, Warnings
11 There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
The Plain Truth
The previous three verses have looked at what “a generation” or “a people” may do that are considered wicked and unwise. These are people who disrespect or even curse their parents (v. 11). These are people who think they are good people, but they are in fact covered in their own filth (v. 12). These are people who think they know better than anyone else, and they do not need to answer to anyone (v. 13).
In the last “generation” we get this final picture of truly cruel and wicked people. They are people who know how to tear another to shreds with their words and show contempt for others.
The Prophetic Truth
The Bible has more to say about the “last” generation:
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.
2 Timothy 3:1-8, ESV
Consider that state of things today:
- Children disrespect their parents on a regular basis.
- Everyone is taught they make their own truth and are basically good.
- In the age of the internet, everyone thinks they are an expert in everything.
- The shows and movies that are viewed the most are full of violence, coarse language, sex, and innuendo.
- We care more for saving animals and the planet than saving people.
- We turn away from the Truth and lead others away from the Truth.
Christ may not return for His Bride the Church today, but the evidence seems to be mounting that He will soon.
Are we ready, or are we helping to devour the poor and the needy?
Lord, come quickly, but give us the grace, patience, wisdom, and time to reach as many as possible with Your truth and grace.
1 Comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Generation, Last Days, The Wicked, Warnings | posted in The Wicked, Warnings
“When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.”
Most people in our world understand what this verse is saying.
There are people in Third World countries who hide from terrorists, tyrants, and warlords who steal from, maim, kill, or worse the people in their nations or allow others to do so.
We have the past century of history with the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Lenin, and Kim, who have ruled over their empires, nations, or blocs with the iron fist of communism, suppressing freedoms and dissent from the status quo.
When someone comes along who helps relieve or end the suffering of the average person, the average person wants to celebrate.
… Or in the Workplace …
When you work with a horrible boss, it becomes easier to just duck your head down and get your work done. You hide in your work to avoid confrontation. Or you quit.
When your boss is a joy to work with, you enjoy going to work.
… Or at Home …
When you have a spouse that complains about everything or is abusive, you might hide in your work, hide with your friends, or hide in a hobby.
When you have a spouse who is loving and caring, you enjoy being with your spouse.
… Or at Church …
When your church is less of a family and more of a gossip-factory or, strangely, a pep-rally of moralism or “your best life now”, you may find that you want to hide behind a smile than confess your short-comings, failures, and sins.
When your church is a family that holds you accountable to God’s Word with love and compassion, you rejoice in the freedom offered through Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness. You rejoice in the family of God.
Lord, give us strength and wisdom when we face wickedness in power, and help us to find support and strength through Your children in the Church.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Church, Hiding, Home, Rejoice, Rejoicing, righteous, The Wicked, Work | posted in The Righteous, The Wicked
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Throughout the ages there have been people who have worried about people chasing them, trying to hurt them, or always watching them. It was recently revealed that some people were right about the United States government!
However, usually these fears are misguided or wrong.
Another form of this fear comes from the person with a guilty conscience.
I have been this person. Perhaps you have, too.
I have said and done things that I knew were against the rules, and then I spent minutes, hours, days, even weeks worried someone would catch me in my lie. I became nervous in almost every conversation with anyone, and I eventually only wanted peace and to not be afraid.
We are all guilty of something. That something is sin – separation from God by our own actions, words, and thoughts.
We all have a right to feel paranoid about someone watching us, and it is understandable for people to live in fear. It should break our hearts and cause us to tremble at the thought we have forsaken our Creator … and Savior.
Fortunately, we can find boldness and peace:
Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
Revelation 5:5, NIV
We find our boldness and peace, we find righteousness in Jesus Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Confess your sins, repent of your sins, and trust in the fullness of Jesus. Find boldness in Him!
Gracious Lord, help us to overcome our fears and failures. Help us to trust in Your grace and forgiveness, and embolden us to live a life for Your glory!
Leave a comment | tags: Boldness, Book of Proverbs, Lion of the tribe of Judah, Paranoia, The Righteous, The Wicked, Trust the Lord | posted in The Righteous, The Wicked, Trust the Lord
27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
Have you ever had someone give you gift, and it came from someone who you were sure did not like you?
Later it turned out that gift, which seemed like a nice and generous act at first, was actually a way for that person to mock or embarrass you in front of others.
Perhaps you have been in a workplace with a supervisor who did not like you. The only reason they did nice things to you was to look good in front of others or to benefit themselves in some way. In return, all you received was trouble or no credit, perhaps even getting passed over for well-deserved promotions.
These acts and gifts did not bring you joy or thankfulness. They only made you angry.
How do you think God feels when we bring poor or purposefully bad sacrifices and offerings?
This is done through giving what we feel like when it is time for tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:6-12)
This is done by saying “Yes, Lord! I will do whatever you ask of me!” when you have no intention of doing anything. (Malachi 3:13-15)
This is done by saying you are a Christian and then calling evil things good. (Malachi 1)
We must always check our hearts as we deal with people and with God, that we may willingly and joyfully give what God desires and deserves. (2 Corinthians 9)
Lord, forgive us for our wicked selfishness and idolatry. Help us to love you and offer true sacrifices (Isaiah 58). Help us forgive those who treat us as wickedly as we treat You.
4 Comments | tags: Book of Proverbs, Gifts, Offerings, Relationship, Robbing God, The Wicked, Tithes, Wickedness | posted in Relationships, The Wicked
26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.
26 A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them. (NIV)
I have worked for many companies over the years. One of the great differences between some of them were how employees were handled.
A good human resources (HR) department handles issues with employees really well.
At one of those companies, the HR Manager volunteered to take all of the difficult situations no one else wanted (hence her being the manager!) Whenever there was an employee who caused more problems than good work, she would convince them that they wanted to work in a different area.
If they still did not improve, she would remove them from employment (fire them, lay them off, however you wish to say it).
God is our wise King and the greatest at handling human resources.
Jesus told us that at the end of the Age all of humanity would be separated out.
In Matthew 13, He tells the parable of the wheat and weeds. The wheat and weeds grow together, and then after the harvest they are separated with the weeds sent to the fire.
Likewise, when Christ returns, the righteous will be separated to go with Him, but the wicked will be sent to the Lake of Fire.
To be saved, we must seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, believe in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our forgiveness, and believe in His resurrection. His Holy Spirit takes care of all of the hard work of preparing us for the final harvest.
Trust in God, and follow Him.
Wise God, thank You for saving us and in Your judgment preparing places for all of us. Help us to find and root out the evil in our lives wherever we encounter it.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, End of the World, Punishment, Reward, The Wicked, Weeds, Wheat, Wise king | posted in The Righteous, The Wicked