Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hebrews Resources

There are some helpful introductions to and commentaries on the book of Hebrews that are available for free online.  Among them are
Helpful introductions:
Helpful commentaries:
         Many other resources are available at the Precepts Austin web site.

A more general overview of resources and brief strategy for study can be found at "A Brief Outline of Bible Study Tips and Links."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mike Brotherman on Proverbs 13.1-11 Carptenter Flock 120805@TBC

Wisdom – Simple definition (knowing the right thing to do and doing it).
Wisdom is a continual pursuit.  (Example, PhD is something we earn; we never lose once we’ve obtained it.  Not so with wisdom, it is a constant cross road to choose between this way and that way.)    My prayer today is that it is evident that we all see that paths laid out in today’s passage. 
Challenge in parenting is that we cannot force wisdom onto our kids, but we can reinforce the path of the foolish.  I can make them understand the benefits of wisdom over the consequences of the fool.  Ultimate outcome is that God will not be mocked; each one (either immediately or later) will reap what we sow. 
Wisdom (which is a gift from God - Proverbs 2:6) is part of the framework of a heart which comes to know God.
According to Paul in Thessalonians 2:11-12, as parents, it is our obligation to set the foundation at home for our children to pursue God and challenge them to run the race.


A wise son hears his father's instruction, 
but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
Proverbs 17:10
discerning person is thus more affected by a single rebuke than is a fool by a hundred blows).
Instruction is the word (muwcar) (warning or admonition)
Literal read of verse is:  a wise son discipline by a father (or is the result of)
Mocker – no respect for authority, thinks that he knows what is best, not teachable.
Mocker is the word (luwts) (one who is arrogant and icorrigible)

Psalm 1:1 warns us of these people  (they are the final outcome of this progression)
The second key word (ge’arah) (rebuke or threat) is much stronger
than (muwcar) (warning or admonition)

From the fruit of his mouth a good man eats good, 
but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
Fruit of his mouth – Speech
Some translations say (Enjoys good things) - literally is ‘eats what is good’.
What comes out of a person’s lips has a direct correlation of what goes into one’s lips.

Jesus said, “What goes into someone’ mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them” – Matt 15:11

Desire (nephesh) traditionally means soul has a broad meaning.  Translators feel appetite or desire are the best translation.  Is their desire for inflicting violence on others, or what violence might obtain for them – ill-gotten material gain?
3He who guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
The sheep that bleats is strangled by the wolf (Italian saying)
Take heed that your tongue does not cut your throat (old Arab proverb)

Guards – protect,  keep a watch over or maintain.

Speaks rashly – Literally (opens wide his lips).

Ruin is the word (mechittah) which mean corruption or dissolution as from fire.
This person will be reduced to ashes.

If you tie to verse one, one person has open ears and a closed mouth, their outcome is life.
The other person has closed ears and open mouth, their outcome is ruin.
James – brother of Christ, reminds us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

Jesus warns us that we will be held accountable for every idle word – Matthew 12:35 – SCARY!

4  The soul of the sluggard craves, and gets nothing, 
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Sluggard (sloth) wants everything but isn’t willing to give anything.
Here the word desire again refers to the soul, but is a different Hebrew word which points to the whole person.
Here craves is the same verb used in the Ten Commandments prohibiting against coveting.
Earlier we were to take note of the ant as a model of wisdom.  (Proverb 6:9).  This person has desires and cravings, but failure to act means they will have nothing.

Last chapter we were reminded that a diligent man is precious. (Proverb 12:27).
The New Testament also encourages such character, but as a means of worship. (Col 3:23)

We can validate this proverb ourselves by the feeling we get when we accomplish something.  A sense of satisfaction in what we achieved.  Dreams have never yielded this feeling nor happiness.

(Unknown) The doors of opportunity are marked ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’
(English Proverb) Opportunity knocks, but it has never been known to turn the knob and walk in.

5   A righteous man hates falsehood, 
but a wicked man acts shamefully and disgracefully.

Debar sheqer – literally ‘word of falsehood’. This is a lie.
Why does a righteous man hate falsehood?  Because God hates falsehood!
Proverbs 6:16-17 – turn there.  Also repeated in the last chapter - Proverbs 12:22

Root word for shame is smell.  Liars have a bad odor associated with them.  They stink.
Similar word for shameful is used in Revelation 8:27 as one who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Lies destroy trust.  Our kids need to know this, we need to model this.

6  Righteousness guards him whose way is upright, 
but sin overthrows the wicked.
This idea is mirrored in Proverbs 11:3.

Notice that both righteousness & wickedness are personified. 
Each taken as if they were a person, one to protect, the other to destroy.
We are not saved by our righteousness, but there is merit in this life for doing the right thing.
Proverbs 5:22 – The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the chords of his sin hold him fast.

Overthrows – (caliph) – to wreck or overturn.  This person is a wreck.
While saints are secured from ruin, sinners are secured for ruin.  Sin, the very master they are serving, turns on them just like the parasite it is.


7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; 
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

At first read I thought the action of the later was noble, living below their means (millionaire next door); however the commentators do not agree with my quick conclusion.
Although there are times when such pretending may not be wrong, the proverb seems to be instructing that people should be honest and unpretentious.  – We are reminded of this in the previous chapter.

Proverbs 12:9 - Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food.
The translation on this is a little fuzzy.  The Hebrew text reads:
“There is to be rich who has nothing, and there is to be poor who has great wealth”.

So what does it mean? (Like the KJV and ASV suggests) to make oneself rich (or poor)
And if it is to make oneself rich / poor, is that because they are trying to appear that they are something they are not OR is it that they are hard workers to who labor intensively to accumulate wealth as to give or throw away?

Or like the RSV and NIV suggests, pretend.

Also, is this a literal wealth or spiritual one?  If honest with ourselves, we are all guilty of exaggerating our spirituality, especially on Sunday morning.

Walke puts it this way. Both liars are wicked.  First, they defraud society.  The former receives unmerited honor, and the latter deprives it of needed financial help.  Second, they defame and defraud the Lord; one pretends to have received the Lord’s blessing, while the other denies his gracious gifts.
The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, 
but a poor man has no means of redemption.

Here we see the disadvantages of wealth.  At face value it lends to the rich man being susceptible to kidnapping, blackmail, robbery and legal woes due to his wealth.  We can read into this in Ecclesiastes 6:1-6 (summed up in this verse) - God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

On the other side of the fence, the poor are not targets of this type of concern.  When the rich Jews were carried captive to Babylon, after the fall of Jerusalem, the poor were left in the land, as seen in 2 Kings 24:14.
The poor man here, is too small to worry about, thus he is off the radar of the attacker.
Walke takes another view.  He says this is the advantage of wealth over the disadvantage of being poverty.
Ransom here occurs a dozen times in the Bible and refers to the prize paid or demanded in exchange for saving a life with reference to either an innocent or guilty person.  Using parallelism between the two, leads us to believe the rich man is not innocent, but has means of ransoming his life.
The poor man is also believed to be guilty, but he does not listen or hear the threat / rebuke.  This is the same word used in verse one where the foolish person had closed ears.

The light of the righteous rejoices, 
but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
Ties back into Proverbs 4:18-19 (The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes the stumble).
There is a play on words here, with light and rejoices.  Idea is that the light is burning brightly and the people are happy.  Sorta like saying, in referencing a campfire, that the fire is burning cheerfully.  It makes us feel warm and happy just to thing of the joy of a campfire. (when it is NOT 114 outside).
As children of the Light, we are encouraged to be a light shining on the hill, offering hope to all those lost in the darkness. – Matthew 5:14

Light that is distinguished is a sign from the show Survivor that you are kicked off the island.  Scripturally it is a sign of God’s judgment – Proverbs 20:20  - Matthew 8:12
This verse leads us to the conclusion that the righteous have vision and success; while the wicked are lost, confused and ultimately extinguished.
Through the NT, we have the advantage to know who our Light is and to live a life in pursuit of Him requires us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follw – Luke 9:23
We also have the advantage, through the model of Christ, to know that the outcome of light does not always signify material gain, but it does always yield spiritual growth and success.
10  By insolence the heedless make strife, 
but with those who take advice is wisdom.
The idea of pride here describes content for other opinions, and a clash of competing and unyielding personalities.  Arrogance!  This kind of person creates strife, enflames passions, and wounds feelings.
Quarrels can refer to either verbal or physical conflicts.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall – Proverbs 16:18
It could be read, based on the original wording – An empty head produces nothing but strife by his arrogance.  These individuals have an exaggerated opinion of themselves.  Each one of us have been this person before, and if you disagree with that statement, then are probably that person now.

Seeking advice is a sign of humility, which is an act of wisdom – Proverb 11:2
Knowing the limitations of our knowledge and abilities, and acting on that knowledge by seeking advice, is an act of wisdom.
Wisdom is often associated with age and experience, though that is not always the truth.

11  Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, 
but he who gathers little by little will increase it.
Systematic investing, little by little produces prosperity.  If you want to learn more about investing, please refer to one of the investment gurus in the room (Howard  or Chris) who would love to help you or your children be wise in this discipline.
Implies here that the individual has gained their wealth dishonestly.  Literally – “Wealth by a breath”.
78% of NFL players are bankrupt or in financial crisis w/in 2 years of retirement.

60% of NBA players are bankrupt either while playing or within 5 years of retirement.

Perhaps their wealth was gained through lying or cheating.  The root of this Proverb is “Easy come, easy go”.  Proverbs suggests: “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be a blessed at the end” – Proverbs 28:20
Why?  Because this person has no appreciation for what they have.  They didn’t work for it, or at least for the value of what it originally cost.  It was only a get rich scheme!  Our kids need to know the value of a dollar, not so they can avoid working for it, but so they can appreciate the spending of it.
So, on the flip side, those who work and save will find themselves in abundance, but those who take and spend will be wanting.