Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 TBC Men's Bible Study - The Gospel of Mark: A Serving Savior / Lesson 11 - “Transfiguration” - Mark 8:27-9:13

Lesson 11 - “Transfiguration” - Mark 8:27-9:13
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Mark 8:22-9:18 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read Mark 8:27-9:13 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use. 
In this lesson we see the climax of “eight chapters” of Christ’s ministry come to the climax of Peter’s inspired confession that Jesus was the Christ, and we see the disciples struggling to understand what that meant.
1.     WS: (8:27-29)  What did Peter mean when he said that Jesus was “the Christ” (christos)?  How did that compare to the popular opinions of the day?
2.     ID: (8:31-33)  What did Jesus say His mission was?  Why did Jesus say, “Satan, get behind Me?”  Why did Peter not yet understand?
3.     ID/CR: (9:1)  When did some of the disciples see the “kingdom of God” present with power?
4.     ID/CR: (8:34-38)  What did Jesus say it meant to take up your cross and follow Him?  What did he say about it in other places?  (Matthew 10:38; / Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23 / Luke 14:27)
5.     ID/CR: (9:2-8)  Who did Jesus bring to the Mount of Transfiguration?  Who appeared with Him?  Was there special significance to those two men?  How did that experience impact Peter and John? (John 1:14; 1John 1:1-4 / 2 Peter 1:16-21)
6.     CR: (9:12-13)  Who were the “scribes”? (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 23:13; Mark 12:38; Mark 15:1)  Who was “Elijah”? (1 Kings 18:1-16; 1 Kings 18:17-29;  2 Kings 2:1-11; Malachi 4:1-6; Luke 1:17; John 1:21-25)  Where was it written that the Son of Man must suffer? (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53)
The WALK: What should I do?
1.     How would you answer the question, “Who is Jesus?”  How/why did you come to feel that way?
2.     What does it mean for you to “take up your cross and follow Christ?.  Are you ever “ashamed” of Jesus? 
3.     Jesus said that “Elijah” would prepare the way.  How can/do we prepare the way for Jesus and the Gospel in our sphere of influence today?
4.     How do you keep your focus on “things of God” during your day?
5.     Where in this passage do we see Gospel truths about God, Man, Christ, and our response?
Going Beyond:  1. Try an informal survey with some acquaintances.  Ask them who “Who is (or was) Jesus?”  Be sure to ask some clarifying questions (How did you arrive at that view?  What do you mean by _____? Etc.)  before you respond.  Were the responses what you expected?  How so?
2. What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?
q The Bible   q God   q God the Father   q Jesus Christ   q The Holy Spirit    q Man   q Salvation   q The Church   q Angels & Satan   q Future Things –

Cranfield concludes his section on this account by noting three main questions “(i) Is this a legend or a piece of theological symbolical writing or is it historical? … (ii) If then ix. 2-8 is in some sense a historical narrative, what was it that happened? … (iii) What is the theological significance of what is recorded in ix. 2-8?”1 We will begin with his answers, adding some modifications along the way.
1.                Is this legendary or historical? Bultmann, Nineham, Perrin, et al. reject this story as true, calling it a legendary development of a resurrection-story. However, it is unlike any of the resurrection accounts in the following ways: (a) all of the resurrection appearances have Jesus being absent to begin with, while he is present here; (b) he speaks in the resurrection appearances and what he says is of great significance, while here he is silent; (c) if this were a resurrection appearance by Jesus to Peter, one might expect certain other features such as are found in the John 21 account; all such peculiar features are lacking here; (d) Moses and Elijah never appear with Jesus in the resurrection accounts; only angels appear in these pericopae and never with Jesus; and (e) Bultmann’s suggestion does not account for Peter’s suggestion about the tents.
On the other hand, there are several features in this story which give it the stamp of authenticity: (a) the mention of ‘after six days’ which seems to lack symbolical force and thus must simply be a historical note; (b) Peter’s use of the term ραββι, which is never used of Jesus outside of the gospels, and within the gospels only in pre-crucifixion narratives; and (c) Mark gives no clue at all that he is giving us other than an actual historical account. (d) Second Peter 1:16-18 is Peter’s own testimony to the historicity of this event (see NET Bible note there). (Since, however, the authenticity of 2 Peter is doubted by many—including Cranfield—it is rarely mentioned as evidence on the side of the historicity of this event.)
2.                Assuming then that this was an actual historical event, what actually happened? Three options are (a) a vision, (b) a factual happening, or (c) a combination of these two. Two factors need to be considered in answering this question: First, we are reminded of Paul’s statement about a man he knows (though this is likely autobiographical) who visited the third heaven: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Cor 12:2, NASB). Paul’s inability to distinguish a vision from a factual event in his own life when it came to heavenly glory may well be a parallel to the transfiguration. Second, although Cranfield says that the transfiguration was meant for the disciples, if it was also meant for Jesus then this might presumably color our assessment of the account. In light of the self-revelation Jesus had just made six days earlier about his own suffering and death, and in light of the parallel with the heavenly voice at his baptism being followed by a major trial, it seems likely that the transfiguration would be equally an encouragement for Jesus. The presence of Elijah and Moses with him in the cloud would affirm his path to the cross and remind him of its necessity, for as Paul says, “the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ… whom God publicly displayed as a mercy seat for sins…” (Rom 3:21-22, 25).
With these two factors in mind, what can we say? On the one hand, if the transfiguration had meaning only for the disciples, then whether it was a vision or a factual, sensory occurrence matters little, since that same question remained unanswered by Paul regarding the third heaven but the incident became a source of great encouragement to him to press on (cf. 2 Cor 12:4-5). At the same time, if 2 Peter is authentic (and I believe that it is), then Peter’s own statement about the transfiguration is that it was more than a vision; he treats it as a genuine factual, sensory experience (cf. 2 Pet 1:16-18). On the other hand, if this event had meaning for Jesus as well as for the disciples—that is, that it was meant to be an encouragement to him too—then it must surely have been a factual event, for otherwise how are we to account for him being both a part of the vision and a recipient of it?
3.                We conclude with notes on some of the theological significance of the transfiguration. The following comments are only preliminary; frankly, it would take years, perhaps a lifetime, to explore the depths of the meaning of the transfiguration. (a) It symbolized and foreshadowed both the resurrection and parousia. (b) It was a temporary unveiling of the Son of God’s eternal glory. (c) That this glory was seen and not just expounded on was so that “the disciples could taste in part what could not be fully comprehended” (Calvin). That is, as the old Chinese proverb says, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” (d) Moses and Elijah were a part of the picture to show both continuity with the OT in the ministry of Jesus and his own uniqueness and absolute authority (hence he alone wore the brilliant clothing, and he alone is identified from heaven as the one to be obeyed). (e) The cloud was a continuation of the Shekinah glory: the presence of God has returned fully in the person of Jesus Christ. And Moses and Elijah are there, silently endorsing him as the one in whom men meet God.
Our final two points are taken largely from 2 Peter rather than from Mark; they represent Peter’s own reflections on the theological significance of the transfiguration. (f) The certainty of Christ’s glory is transferred to believers: they too will glorified and this fact should give them confidence as they face death (cf. 2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 John 3:2). (g) The certainty of Christ’s glory also gives believers confidence in him as a prophet and those whom he authorizes as prophets (2 Peter 1:16-21). In sum, the transfiguration is a part of the heavenly glory that even the apostle Paul could allude to when he wrote, Λογίζομαι γὰρ ὅτι οὐκ ἄξια τὰ παθήματα τοῦ νῦν καιροῦ πρὸς τὴν μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς (Rom 8:18).
© 2015

Lesson 11 - Mark 8:27-9:13

3. The commentators have multiple opinions about this, so don’t get too bogged down splitting hairs.
4. This question has two parts.  First, is what does Mark record Jesus saying about taking up your cross.  Second, is to look at the comments in other situations and Gospels.  This discussion should lay out the objective content to build on in the walk question two.
5. The article in the Extra section might be of some help with this question.

1. This might be a good an opportunity to have an “seekers” who might be attending share where they are in their understanding. 
4.  I see this as an opportunity for you to talk about the difference between “things of God” and “things of man” and for the men to share how they place reminders along the way to keep a spiritual perspective on things.

Dr. Daniel Wallace, Senior Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, talks about the historical nature of the transfiguration, what actually happened, and the theological significance. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2015 TBC Men's Bible Study - The Gospel of Mark: A Serving Savior / Lesson 10 - “Warning About the Pharisees” - Mark 8:1-26

Lesson 10   - “Warning About the Pharisees”  -  Mark 8:1-26
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)

The WORD: What does the Bible say?
Context:  Read Mark 7:35-8:30 to help understand the context of this passage.  Read Mark 8:1-26 in a more literal or more dynamic translation than you usually use. 

1.     ID: (8:1-3)  What response did Jesus have to the condition of the multitudes?  What were his concerns? 

2.     ID/CR: (8:4-9)  What are some similarities and differences between this feeding of 4,000 and the previous feeding of 5,000 in Mark 6:33-44?

3.     CR: (8:10-12)  How many of Jesus’ miracles has Mark recorded so far?  Why did the Pharisees seek a sign?   (Compare with Matthew 16:1-4)  What was Jesus’ response?

4.     WS: (8:15)  What was Jesus saying about the Pharisees and Herod when he referred to leaven (zymē)?  (After you have examined Mark, refer to the parallel passage in Matthew 16:11-12 and a similar interaction in Luke 12:1-3)  What did the disciples think he was talking about? 

5.     ID: (8:13-21)  Do Jeremiah 5:20-24 and Ezekiel 12:1-2 relate to the disciples’ response?  Why did the disciples fail to understand? 

6.     ID: (8:22-26)  What unusual things happened when Jesus healed the blind man?

The WALK: What should I do?
1.     What are some times the Lord has worked in your life that you can look back on and remember His faithfulness / deliverance?
2.     What tends to be our response to people (esp. when they oppose us or what we think or believe)?  What pattern did Jesus set for us in this passage (esp. verses 2, 11, 17-21)
3.     Is there leaven in American Christianity?  Are there any areas of “leaven” in your life? 
4.     What causes us to harden our hearts, have blurry spiritual vision, and become spiritually hard of hearing?  How do you keep your heart soft and tender toward the Lord?
5.  Where in this passage do we see Gospel truths about God, Man, Christ, and our response?

Going Beyond:  1. Study the symbolism of leaven in the Bible.
2. What areas of theology are touched on in this passage?
   The Bible     God    God the Father    Jesus Christ      The Holy Spirit      Man     Salvation     The Church     Angels & Satan     Future Things –

Leaven: A lump of old dough in high fermentation. As making it and leavening bread with it took time, unleavened bread was used in sudden emergencies (Genesis 18:6; Genesis 19:3). It was forbidden in all offerings to the Lord by fire (Leviticus 2:11; Leviticus 7:12). The Israelites on pain of death were to have none in their houses or in the land during Passover for seven days, from 14th Nisan (Exodus 12:15; Exodus 12:19; Exodus 12:39; Exodus 13:7; Exodus 23:18; Deuteronomy 16:3-4). Salt was its opposite, and was never to be absent from the altar burnt offering, representing the incorruptible imperishableness of Jehovah's covenant. Honey as liable to ferment also was excluded from the altar burnt offerings. Leaven reminded Israel of the haste with which they fled from Egypt, and of their sufferings, which answer to the insipidity of unleavened bread, "the bread of affliction."
Its prominent symbolical meaning was, it is bred of corruption and corrupts the mass with which it is mixed. Hence it represents "malice" (the evil habit) and "wickedness" (evil coming out in word and deed) as opposed to "sincerity" and "truth" (1 Corinthians 5:7). The Jews searched with extreme care their houses, to purge out every particle of leaven. So Christians ought to search their hearts and purge out every corruption (Psalm 139:23-24). It also symbolizes corrupt doctrine (Matthew 16:6). Another quality is its secretly penetrating and diffusive influence: 1 Corinthians 5:6, "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," the influence of one sinner corrupts many (Ecclesiastes 9:18); but in Galatians 5:9 a little legalism mixed with the gospel corrupts its purity. Though elsewhere used in a bad sense, leaven in Matthew 13:33 represents the gospel principle working silently "without observation" from within, until the whole is leavened, just as the mustard tree represents its diffusion externally; so "flesh," though usually in a bad sense, in Ezekiel 11:19 is in a good sense.
The decomposition of social elements, accompanying and providentially preparing the way for the gospel, makes the image appropriate. Leaven was allowed to be offered in the firstfruits and tithes (Deuteronomy 26:2; Deuteronomy 26:12; 2 Chronicles 31:5), the Pentecostal loaves (Leviticus 23:15; Leviticus 23:17), and the peace offering (Leviticus 7:13). See Leviticus 2:11 "as an oblation of firstfruits ye shall offer them (leaven and honey) unto the Lord, but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour." In Amos 4:5 the leavened bread was "with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of the peace offerings," not with burnt offerings of animals on the altar. Perhaps however the command is ironical, "offer by burning (margin) a sacrifice ... with leaven" (which was forbidden), your very offerings being open insults to God.
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Leaven' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".

You may also want to refer to:
leaven” entry in the Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell
Leaven” entry in the International Standard Bible Encylopedia ©1915

Teacher notes for Lesson 10 - Mark 8:1-26
3. By my count there have been about twenty descriptions of miracles (Some are references to many healed.) in Mark so far (including God speaking from heaven).  It is remarkable that Jesus was still being asked for a sign.
4. I have included comments by Warren Wiersbe below.
6. The commentators are rife with speculation about meaning and reasons for this unusual healing.  It might be enough to just note some of its unusual aspects.

1. It is easy to criticize how quickly the disciples forgot about the feeding of the 5,000.  It fact some skeptics think this is a retelling of the first feeding because it is inconceivable that the disciples could have forgotten Jesus was able to feed thousands so quickly.  Let’s take some time to remember what the Lord has done in our lives.
4. I think it is a challenge for us to admit or recognize that we have our moments of spiritual dullness and lack of spiritual perception.  If your men feel free to talk about it, this could be a good discussion about seeing the signs and precautions that the men find helpful.

Articles about the metaphorical uses of “leaven” in the Bible have been included in this lesson.  This is a reoccurring term in the Bible, and one that it will be helpful for the men to know about.
 Dr. Warren Wiersbe’s comments on leaven…
“In the Bible, leaven is consistently a symbol of evil. Each Passover season, the Jews had to remove all leaven from their dwellings (Ex. 12:18–20), and leaven was not allowed with the offerings (Ex. 23:18; 34:25; Lev. 2:11; 6:17). Evil, like leaven, is small and hidden, but it spreads and soon infects the whole (Gal. 5:9).

The Bible uses leaven as a picture of false doctrine (Gal. 5:1–9), unjudged sin in the church (1 Cor. 5), and hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). In this context, Jesus warned them about the teaching (false doctrine) of the Pharisees and the followers of Herod. The Pharisees “said but they did not”; in other words, they practiced and encouraged hypocrisy (note Mark 7:6). The Herodians were a worldly group who catered to Herod, accepted the Roman way of life, and saw in Herod and his rule the promised kingdom for the Jewish nation. If this false teaching got into the hearts and minds of the disciples, it would infect them and pollute the truth Jesus had given them to proclaim about Himself and His kingdom.

We can never be too careful about detecting and avoiding false doctrine. Only a small deviation from the Word may get into an individual or a church, but before long it will grow and infect everything. Our Lord did not often say “Beware!” but when He did it was important!”[1]

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 137–138.

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 in Proverbs

Those who reject the Lord will eat the fruit of their ways, and that is a sad and meager diet.
Proverbs 1.29-31
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own [counsel].
1. The general principle is that you will end up at the destination of the people you are traveling with.
2. The specific warning is against the attractive and sweet, but immoral woman who has not kept the covenant of her God. Outward appearance can be deceiving and the wrong choice tragic.
Lord, help me pursue your wisdom and continue faithful to Your covenant.
Proverbs 2.16-19
16 To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.
17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth,
And forgets the covenant of her God.
18 For her house leads down to death,
And her paths to the dead;
19 None who go to her return,
Nor do they regain the paths of life—
It seems sometimes that theologians see some of God's attributes as moral and others as natural or non-moral. That may all be fine and good, but these verses seem to point toward wisdom and knowledge that God used to create the "kosmos" has having moral benefit to me. Big thoughts, but I am thinking about them.
Proverbs 3.19-22
19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
By understanding He established the heavens;
20 By His knowledge the depths were broken up,
And clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes—
Keep sound wisdom and discretion;
22 So they will be life to your soul
And grace to your neck.
One of the neat things to watch at my church is the way some set up or clean up project has a relatively uncoordinated group of people jump in and just get the job done. Doing things for people and around the church like a bunch of ants busy taking care of business.
Proverbs 6.6-8
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
Proverbs 7
The admonitions to keep the law of dad near and dear seem a little over the top to our modern ears...
2 Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
...untill we see the competition.
21 With her enticing speech she caused him to yield,
With her flattering lips she seduced him.
Right between verses on the value of wisdom and its usefulness to rulers is inserted this defining thought.
Proverbs 8.13
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
Everybody is always talking about diets that help you live longer and better.
Proverbs 9.4-6
4 "Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
5 "Come, eat of my bread
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Forsake foolishness and live,
And go in the way of understanding.
One of the reasons the wicked are headed for trouble is that they are not reliable.
Lord, make me diligent to follow through.
Proverbs 10.24-26
24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him,
And the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more,
But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
So is the lazy man to those who send him.
These proverbs reinforce the importance of a generous spirit and the blessings that come on those with that spirit.
Lord, give me an Ephesians 4:28 spirit.
Proverbs 11.24-26
There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.
The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
I don't think that verse four is a stand alone verse about marriage as much as it sets the tone for the seriousness of the next three verses that contrast the deeds of the wicked with the righteous whose "house" stands on a solid foundation.
Lord, help me build my life on your foundation and be a blessing to my wife.
Proverbs 12.4-7
4  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6 The words of the wicked are, "Lie in wait for blood,"
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
But the house of the righteous will stand.
A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
Annie replied, "Because people are sleeping"
Proverbs 13.18-19 Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction,
But he who regards a rebuke will be honored.
A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,
But it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.
Again and again disdain for correction is a hallmark of the fool. Lord, make me a good listener and "repenter."
These verses appeal for a gracious, thoughtful attitude toward our neighbors regardless of their affluence.
Lord, help me to see people with your eyes.
Proverbs 14.20.22
20 The poor man is hated even by his own neighbor,
But the rich has many friends.
21 He who despises his neighbor sins;
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.
22 Do they not go astray who devise evil?
But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.
Harsh words that stir up anger are foolishness. The Lord keeps watch over us to see who wisely defuses anger.
Lord, I want You to like what You see in me.
Proverbs 15.1-3
1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Here are a couple things that righteous old people should have figured out. Lord, give me Your self-control and understanding.
Proverbs 16.31-33
31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
If it is found in the way of righteousness.
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the LORD.
The humble hunger for knowledge and understanding can save us from some trouble. Lord, make me a humble listener.
Proverbs 18.12-13
12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty,
And before honor is humility.
13 He who answers a matter before he hears it,
It is folly and shame to him.
I smiled today at the IVP Bible Background Commentary's description of the Mark 7.24-30 Syro-Phonecian woman's faith as "holy chutzpah." Lord, give me some of that.
Instruction that highlight's the "Lord's counsel," kindness, and the fear of the Lord puts children on a good trajectory for a life that will please the Lord. These are also good benchmarks for adults to think about.
Proverbs 19.20-23
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.
21 There are many plans in a man's heart,
Nevertheless the LORD's counsel—that will stand.
22 What is desired in a man is kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of the LORD leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
The converse of this "wise saying" is to make friends with temperate and wise individuals. I am thankful for people like that God has put in my life.
Proverbs 22.24-25
24 Make no friendship with an angry man,
And with a furious man do not go,
25 Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul.
Lord, keep my heart and eyes faithful to Your ways.
Proverbs 23.26-28
26 My son, give me your heart,
And let your eyes observe my ways.
27 For a harlot is a deep pit,
And a seductress is a narrow well.
28 She also lies in wait as for a victim,
And increases the unfaithful among men.
Glee at another's misfortune regardless of how deserved is always in bad form and is inconsistent with the Gospel.
Proverbs 24:17-18
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him.
An undependable and erratic person is more than just an annoyance. Lord, help me be a reliable man with a good sense of how to encourage and bless others.
Proverbs 25.
Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble
Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint.
Like one who takes away a garment in cold weather,
And like vinegar on soda,
Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
The person who has no aptitude for wisdom is ill equipped to safely handle the honor that comes with it. I'm thinking about why.
Proverbs 26.7-8
Like the legs of the lame that hang limp
Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
Like one who binds a stone in a sling
Is he who gives honor to a fool.
The heat of various trials will refine and purify a wise man's character, and others will speak his praises. A fool on the other hand is foolish to the bone and impervious to correction and lessons from experience.
Lord, grant me that that the genuineness of faith in and from You that will be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Proverbs 27.21-22
The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
And a man is valued by what others say of him.
Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain,
Yet his foolishness will not depart from him.
These verses describe a short sighted, muniplitive, and completely unscrupulous individual who seeks quick gain through any means.
Lord, help me be the principled, faithful man (like verse 19) who values You more than personal gain.
Proverbs 28.21-24
21 To show partiality is not good,
Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
22 A man with an evil eye hastens after riches,
And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.
23 He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward
Than he who flatters with the tongue.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, And says, "It is no transgression,"
The same is companion to a destroyer.
The simplicity and clear conscience of someone who doesn't have to tip toe around his past offences brings freedom and joy.
Lord, help me to do right and treat even the poor right.
Proverbs 29.6-7
6 In the transgression of an evil person there is a snare,
but a righteous person can sing and rejoice.
7 The righteous person cares for the legal rights of the poor;
the wicked does not understand such knowledge. (NET)
Proverbs 30.7-9
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.