Category Archives: Proverbs Post

Unique insights on verses from Proverbs

Though Hand Join in Hand ~ Proverbs Post

Proverbs Post“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished; but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.”
Prov. 11:21

****

Take my hand.
I will lead you into places
unknown.
Places deep,
Where I can teach you how to walk with Me on water.
To stand beside Me, as we walk on water.
Let Me take you to places that are beyond anything you can comprehend.
Grab a hold of My promises and don’t let go.

****

Souls

My heart hurts for the lost.

I want to see people healedI long for breakthroughs to problems, but more than anything I yearn for souls.

If only we could grab the hand of our lost loved ones and pull them into heaven with us.

We can’t.

But we can grasp the hand of Jesus in prayer, believing that He will grab a hold of their hand and pull them in.  That they will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is calling to us.  To trust deeper.  To hope higher.  To walk on water in our believing.

For me, it is believing that no matter the outlook or what the circumstances say ~

“the seed of the righteous SHALL be delivered!”

Will you join me in believing for the souls of our lost or wayward loved ones?  Christ loves them all.

To see similar posts, go to Proverbs Post

Friday Feature ~ Ointment and Perfume

Proverbs PostToday’s feature will be another walk down memory lane, this time with one of my posts from last January.  Originally written in 2010, I expound upon a verse out of Proverbs.  Follow the link below.

Ointment and Perfume: The Costly Fragrance of a True Friend

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
Proverbs 27:9

I hope that you enjoy!

Blessings on your weekend,
Sue

God Directs Our Steps

Photo I took along the Pacific shoreline

Photo I took along the Pacific shoreline

I love walking by the ocean.  I love the fishy smells, and the way the salty breeze warms my weariness.  I love the feel of cool water on my feet, and the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore.  Nobody has to force my steps on a sandy beach, since by the sea is where I feel most at home.

How comforting is the passage above from Proverbs, to know that since God directs our steps, we can trust Him throughout our lives.  Some may argue that this verse is suggestive of predestination on God’s part, and that as such, why bother with a life of faith.  Not at all that, this is actually a poignant reference to God’s sovereignty and love, but there are some issues inherent in it worth addressing.

God Does Not Force Our Steps

God controls the universe, but out of love gives us the choice whether to accept His guidance.  God’s ways are best, but not everyone accepts this notion.  Because of that same love, though, He goes a step further.

God Uses Circumstances to Direct Our Steps to Him

Many do not understand the message of the cross, but it is not complicated.  God sent Jesus to offer a Way back to Him.  He will use circumstances your entire life to direct you to Him.  By accepting and following Christ, we merely return to where we belong.  If really His, though, our lives will then change.

God Will Direct Us Away From Sin

Some people think that after saying a sinner’s prayer they can then go out and continue living a life of continual sin.  If God is directing, though, our lives change from pursuit of wanton pleasure to that of pleasing Him.  God will never direct someone into sin, so if wrongdoing is still rampant, there is something amiss.  This brings up yet another issue.

God Directs Us to Let Go

In the passage, there is the implication of letting go ~ and ~ letting God direct.  We cannot be in charge anymore, but need to let God lead our lives.  For many, this is where the rudder meets the wave.  In our egotistical culture, we think we can figure things out all by ourselves.  God knows this, yet still loves us and has a wonderful alternative.

God Directs In Order to Bless

Many despise the idea of giving God control, but those of us who know Him wouldn’t have it any other way.  With God at the helm, we no longer have to figure things out, but can instead trust His wisdom and understanding.  This is not at all weakness, as some suppose; rather, by yielding to God’s directing, we trade control for a blessed peace.  We can trust an infinite God, who knows the beginning from the end, to guide our ways.

The true blessing comes from knowing that with God directing our steps, they will one day walk on streets of gold on heaven’s shore.

With that in mind, what is holding you back from letting go and letting God direct?

Along the seashore,
I hear His footsteps best.
It reminds me ~
  As I follow Him,
He directs my steps

Sue Nash/2013

Proverbs Post

For similar posts, see Proverbs Post

 

A Glad Dad

Proverbs PostA wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
Proverbs 10:1

Years ago, when my son was little, I did something very foolish.  A friend and I decided to go camping on the beach, with just our children.  Neither of our husbands could get the time off work, but since some of her other friends could meet us there with their motor homes, we ventured out on our impromptu trip.  The problem was that neither of us owned a motor home; instead, we traipsed off, towing a horrendously overloaded pop-up all the way to our beach side oasis.

Amazingly, we made it there without a hitch (no pun at all intended).  Seriously, for me hitches are not a laughing matter!  Here is why.  No sooner had we unloaded kids and bikes, than the two female camping pros proceeded to set up camp.  One of my jobs was to pop-up our temporary dwelling.  My husband had spent hours training his not-at-all mechanical wife how to do so.  His instructions on unhitching the trailer and lowering the stabilizing wheel worked flawlessly – on pavement.  Those same guidelines did not work so well in sand.  As I attempted to unhitch the trailer, because of the sand and my ineptness, the entire weight of it came crushing down onto my exposed, flip-flopped foot.  Just in time, I managed to pull my foot free.  I ended up hobbling my way around camp most of the week but avoided a fracture, which was inevitable had the full heaviness of the pop-up landed squarely on me.  These beach-combing gals learned a valuable lesson: never go trailer camping without capable help and never set up shop in sand!

The potential for foolishness is inherent in all of us, but is particularly predominate in very young children and teens.  My husband and I have experienced our fair share of both with our children, especially with what some call teenage angst.  In the verse above, it is evident that God understands such foolishness and the tough job of parenting.  What I find so interesting are the contrasts described; a son who is wise brings joy to a father, whereas a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. In another verse:

“A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.”
Proverbs 15:20

Implied is that wise children are those who demonstrate honor and respect to both parents; by doing so, they bring a blessed peace to the home.  When things get out of kilter with respectfulness, such as during angst, things go haywire at home for everyone.

I derive much comfort from this verse above because it validates what I already knew, that moms seem to bear the brunt when a child strays into foolishness.  Any mother going through the trauma of dealing with disrespect, rebellion or defiance from a child knows that she just bears the burden differently from her spouse.  Overall, dads can encounter a late night outburst from a child then go right to sleep, but moms lie awake and cry.  The burden brought about by the foolishness hurts both parents, but for the mother it really does feel like a crushing weight.

The Lord understands this heavy burden carried by hurting mothers, but knows that fathers are suffering, as well.  Using the contrast above, He thoughtfully ties the two together.  Dads may not feel as crushed by the rebellious child, but they are nonetheless affected.  I am reminded of the saying, ‘When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!’  The heavy emotional toll of a mother not coping with a parent-child conflict usually spills right over onto the dad.  The Lord knows that a father cannot be joyful when his wife is falling apart.

The flip side to this is that when things go differently, and a child quits being foolish to walk wisely instead, it brings joy all around.  The mother’s overbearing burden is removed, and she feels as light as a feather.  The heaviness leaves, the tension dissipates and a once sad situation becomes suddenly delightful.  With peace restored, momma is once again happy.  Dad enjoys the change in the child’s behavior, too, and seeing his wife happy makes him happy.  Everyone is happy!

We have all acted foolishly before and are all in need of God’s grace.  Some of my past harebrained decisions and periods of rebellion, I would like to forget.  Thankfully, Jesus has always shown that He will forgive and mend our foolishness.  I must do the same.  Along the way in our parenting journey, He keeps teaching my husband me how to love unconditionally, to forgive and to keep moving on.

Though the burdens of parenting can be massively weighty, God is able to lift them and to restore joy back into our lives-for both moms and dads!  During those times, when it seems as though the heaviness brought about by a foolish child is simply beyond bearing, God has a way of letting us know just how fully He understands.  He too knows firsthand the hurt rebelliousness brings.  He experiences it daily from His children.  On the other hand, whenever this child (me or you) acts wisely, it makes for a very glad Father!

Even to You

Hand compliments of Michaelangelo

Hand, compliments of Michelangelo!

So that your trust may be in the Lord, I have made known these things to you today, EVEN TO YOU. Have I not written to you excellent things in counsels and knowledge, to make you know the certainty of the words of truth…”
Proverbs 22:19-21

Early in life, I was severely shy. I can remember hiding behind my parents when someone new came to our house, or dreading having my name called each day during school. My greatest fear was of having any type of attention drawn to me. I preferred cowering in the safety of my comfort zone.

Most of that shyness has subsided, but I am still somewhat introverted and uncomfortable in crowds. Conversations in small gatherings or one on one are just more my preference. The very thought of being pointed out openly still sends my blood pressure soaring. Some remnants of timidity will likely always define who I am.

The Proverbs passage highlighted is a wonderful declaration by God of His trustworthiness and of how He made His Truth accessible. From a shy person’s perspective, though, a small portion of the verse jumps off the page. For those bashful ones like me, it is as if a speaker reading the verse stops when he reaches the ‘even to you‘ part, then points directly at me, causing my heart to cringe and my face to redden. Thankfully, this is not what God intended in this verse!

Quite the opposite is true. God is never mean-spirited or ever cruelly single us out, but He does call out. In this passage, He poignantly calls to us across the expanse of time. 

I love God’s Word, both its timeliness and timelessness. Though written thousands of years ago, His Word touches us where we are today. God could have just made known His Word, and left it at that, hoping that someone would pay attention and migrate towards Him.  He could have simply thrown Truth out in generalities, but He did not. Instead, God made His Truth known to you this day, showing clearly that the Truth was for a particular people group. However, God did not limit His Word to one group; He directed it straight at the individual, even to you. From ages past, God revealed excellent things in counsels and knowledge then made it available to all, even to you and me.

God’s excellent Word is alive and is the only Book that has the power to change individuals. It never has or ever will change. Other religions boast of truths and moral guidelines, but all end up causing more harm than good. The reason for this is that other religions require strict adherence to a set of teachings, causing perfectionism and bondage. God’s Truth, however, is the exact opposite. When revealed, it is so that the hearers’ trust may be in the Lord. They trust in His ability, not their own. God made Truth known, not for us to burden ourselves with unattainable religious perfection, but so that we would place our trust in the only One who is perfect. By revealing Truth to each of us, God is literally unveiling Jesus.

Sadly, for those who refuse Christ but instead choose religious bondage, the result will be death, a spiritual death that brings eternal separation from Him. God makes known His Word to every person born, in undeniable ways. Whether through the awe of His creation or orchestrated opportunities, He provides everyone the circumstances in which to understand the certainty of the words of Truth, found only through trusting Jesus.

God called out long ago with a message of Truth. He directed that call to everyone collectively, but also individually, even to you. Though I am still shy and feel awkward having my name highlighted in a crowd, He called even to me. This call was not mean-spirited, but was done out of a desire to restore us to Himself. It was a love message.

Through Jesus, God makes known that He loves us. Though He was nailed to the cross long ago, Jesus looked across time and saw your face. He saw everyone’s face. He even saw mine, bashful and all. The Way, the Truth and the Life gazed upon humanity then wrote an excellent message. That message of love was written to you. Even to you!

Proverbs Post*Similar blog entries of mine can be found on the category Proverbs PostBlessings always!  Sue

A Priceless Woman

Old photo of my husband's parents

Old photo of my husband’s parents

“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
Proverbs 31:10

Those who know me will tell you that I do not care for football. Since my husband enjoys it so immensely, I have at times put forth an exerted effort to focus on an entire game, only to find that after about 5 minutes my mind is drifting off to other things. America’s sport (stats show football has jumped ahead of baseball in the polls) just does not hold my attention.

Once a year, during the ‘big game,’ I try with renewed determination to appreciate the sport. Every Super Bowl Sunday, out of love for my husband and my desire to connect with what matters to him, I try. This past weekend, I failed as miserably as in my previous attempts. (Sorry, dear, I tried!)

Like many non-football fans, I do enjoy watching Super Bowl commercials. What I prefer to skip is the half-time show. It seems that every year, the theme of the show is either, ‘Raunchy’ or ‘More Raunchy.’ This year’s performance by Beyoncé fit the profile. I heard little vocal talent but saw much provocative gyrating. What I find offensive, though, matters little to ratings. The networks only spew out what our society demands; hence, scantily clad, overtly suggestive women performers will continue to dominate the half-time entertainment.

Unfortunately, there is infatuation in our culture with racy women. Brittany, Paris, and Madonna are but a few. Their names are not typically synonymous with virtuous, or ‘moral excellence.’ These women have shaken off the ‘prudish dust’ of virtuosity and replaced it with self-expression. To them, the more lascivious, the better. The more controversial, the more their popularity soars.  Sadly, this new brand of womanhood is breeding droves of young fans, longing to emulate everything they represent.

A virtuous woman, as is described in Proverbs 31, is rapidly becoming extinct. Although penned thousands of years ago, one can almost hear God earnestly pleading today, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” Where did she go? With each passing generation bringing fewer who value moral excellence, His plea becomes more urgent. Where are women who will strive for His principles rather than the unbridled restraint so rampant today?

Some argue that the only women living wanton lifestyles are those famous ones in the entertainment industry. Based on the prevalence of crude reality shows and music videos, it must be translating into the population at large; otherwise, the industry would dwindle. Either way, we would be wise to take a solemn look at what such lifestyles produce – addictions, narcissism, careless divorces, reconstructive surgeries to the point of disfigurement and discontent. These ‘progressive’ women exchange virtue for pleasure and often realize too late that, in doing so, they have traded away something of great value and thereby witness their lives fall apart.

God is not chauvinistic in His desire for godly virtue. He does not want women locked in castles wearing chastity belts! He expects virtue because He knows what an important gift it is; a gift that builds value in her and brings value to others, especially, to a spouse. Unlike any other trait in a woman, moral excellence seals a man’s heart with a confidence that no money can buy. She may not be as sexy, skinny or flashy as a Super Bowl entertainer is, but a virtuous woman offers him much more. With virtue comes courage, another definition for it. She will have the courage to stand up for what she knows is right, to share only privately with her husband her most intimate beauty, and to stand unwaveringly by her man. She is truly a gift.

One Super Bowl, just after the ‘wardrobe-malfunctioning’, gyrating half-time show has ended, what needs to come next is a commercial, opening simply with a man whose arm is around his wife. Unlike the one who just performed on stage, the woman next to him is one who is ‘above reproach.’ She could be, but need not be outwardly attractive, because to him she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

What follows in the ad are scenes of Beyoncé in juxtaposition with numerous of the man and his bride. Then, one shot focuses only on Beyoncé in concert with the words, ‘Attending a Beyoncé concert: $277.’ Later, another one showing her at the game with the script,Seeing Beyoncé in the Super Bowl: $3000.’ Those images are all the commercial needs except for one. At the end, the camera zooms in on just the wife with the clincher: ‘Being married to a virtuous woman: PRICELESS!.’

Elizabeth, a virtuous woman who was dearly loved, especially by her man!

Elizabeth, a virtuous woman who was dearly loved, especially by her man!

To the rest of the world, she may not be famous and she certainly will never put on a half-time show; but to the man who both loves and trusts in her, she is a woman whose “…price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs Post

A Divine Sentence

Proverbs Post“A divine sentence is in the lips of the king; his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.”
Proverbs 16:10

Much discussion is currently going on in the public arena about judges in America ‘legislating’ rather than ‘ruling’ from the bench. Until recently, the accepted expectation of judges was for them to decide on cases according to established laws, then afterwards to pronounce a sentence for the accused. That standard seems to be changing as more in the judiciary are revising the role of judge to include the writing of laws.

Webster defines a judge as, “a public official authorized to decide questions brought before a court.” The decision is generally made after a careful weighing of the evidence presented. Rulings should also be founded upon the framework of a solid understanding of existing laws. Any judgment which deviates outside the confines of established law into the realm of arbitrary new law, undermines the very definition of judge.

While the role of judge should be confined to deciding law, that of a king is vastly different. Monarchies can vary, but historically kings are synonymous with sovereignty and thus possess, “supreme political power.” (Webster) Judges pass sentences. Kings can issue decrees. At their discretion, kings can function as both judge and law-giver.

The passage above refers primarily to any king acting within his sovereign powers to judge. By his own mouth, sentences are issued and this role is not delegated. You get the sense, by the emphasis of the ruling being a ‘divine sentence,’ that whatever a king decides is what will be. End of discussion!

Monarchs can rule however they want. In the verse above, God makes it clear how He prefers they rule: “…his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.” Another version says it this way: “…he must never judge unfairly.” (NLT) Throughout history, kings have come and gone but the ones who have grabbed God’s attention are those who are wise; a wisdom that is made evident by how they rule. Passing fair judgments cannot be done by relying solely on intellect. Kings who make their mark in history are ones who use their God-given power to rule in a way that is guided by principle, even if they are not fully aware of Who is the guiding force behind their decisions.

Ultimately, there is no earthly judge or king who rules with absolute perfection. The only flawless judgment comes when a ‘Divine sentence’ is decreed. God is the perfect law-giver and the only fair judge because He judges in righteousness. Once His Word is spoken and has gone forth from His lips, it will always be proven fair and true. His Word cannot be appealed or revoked. As the only Wise King, His rulings are always above reproach.

We do have an enemy who would like for us to for us to question this ‘Divine sentence’ and the trustworthiness of our King. The devil has his own set of decrees he would love to issue over us. Unfortunately for him, the Judge of all created beings has already issued a sentence concerning Satan. His ‘day’ is coming. God has promised us that we will one day get to watch this ‘accuser of the brethren’ cast away forever. The mouth of the King has spoken it, so it will be! Hallelujah for that day!

What both intrigues and encourages me about this ‘divine sentence from the lips of a king’ is the hint of something that goes beyond a mere reminder that God is a fair and perfect judge. When God speaks, and His Word has gone forth, it is both powerful and final. Another passage of Scripture reveals this same idea:

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

After a decree leaves God’s lips, He will not change His mind. Earthly decrees can be overturned because human kings and kingdoms are temporal; thereby, subject to change. God’s Word will never change. The encouraging thing for us is that this certainty of what He has determined applies not only to His commands but also His promises. Specific promises, which are spoken directly into our hearts and confirmed through His Word, are given to us by the King of Kings! The guarantee of their fulfillment came the moment He issued their decree!

It is like God is saying to us:

‘Everything which I have purposed for you has already gone forth out of My mouth. It will all be fulfilled. It cannot be altered or overturned because a Divine sentence is in the lips of a King!’