Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Proverbs and Ezekiel

God put us in His Church (with other people) for a good reason. Keep an open mind/ spirit that is being sharpened and improved by others. It is not all about me.
Proverbs 18
1 A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.
2 A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.

Proverb 19.8
"He who gets wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good."
Being wise is in my best interest in the long run.

Is this a good missions verse?
Ezekiel 4.4b-5 "I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a rebellious house—yet they will know that a prophet has been among them."

A good thought to keep in mind during the next emotional altar call, etc...
Proverbs 20.25
"It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, 

And afterward to reconsider his vows." (NKJV)
"Don't trap yourself by making a rash promise to God 

and only later counting the cost." (NLT)

Proverbs 21:29
A wicked man displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure. (NASB)
There is a difference between an empty attitude of confidence and real preparation. One just lives for the moment.

Proverbs 22.5-6 illustrate how much more rich and meaningful these proverbs are when enriched by their context. Verse five provides the context to understand verse six.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Over 1/3 of Proverbs 23 is about food and strong drink. That in itself is something to think about.
v. 19 19 Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.

Three times in Ezekiel 12 "...then they shall know that I am the Lord." Losing sight of who the Lord is seems to have been an important factor in Israel's demise. Lord, may I never lose sight of who you are.

Proverbs 24.24
"He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous,"
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him."
This is a good principle for choosing books and movies (God give us discernment to know what is righteous and evil.) and a sign of the times (Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.)

Proverbs 25 has two verses that give me a principle for myself to think about in regard to who I surround myself with and a prayer request for my President and others in authority over me.
4 Take away the dross from silver,
And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

It's hard to imagine how Proverbs 26.4 & 5 could be together
(4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.)
until you see verse 7
"Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools."
It's not just knowing what the proverb says, but also having the sense to know when and how it applies. Lord, give me a heart of the Wise one.

Ezekiel 13.22 "22 "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life." Help me to comfort the righteous and make the wicked sad.

Prov. 27.18
The one who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever takes care of his master will be honored. (NET)
Thinking about the similarities between taking care of an olive tree and a master.

Proverbs 28.26
He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.
1. It is interesting that this verse contrasts "trusting", an attitude, with "walking", a word that is more active.
2. The contrast between "is a fool" and "will be delivered" seems to make an assumption about the normal end of fools.
3. This verse seems to imply we should trust in One other than ourselves.
Lord, help me both trust and walk in You.

Proverbs 29.1
"Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery." (NET).
This is a good reminder to not blow off good advice, but should also be seen as a warning to the nation Israel when considered with the backdrop of 2 Chron. 36.15-16.
Lord, keep me humble, broken before you, and hearing.

15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place.
16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.

Proverbs 30.20
This is the way of an adulterous woman:
She eats and wipes her mouth,
And says, "I have done no wickedness."
This is the tragic fate of someone God has abandoned to their own desires.

1. I want a principle within
of watchful, godly fear,
a sensibility of sin,
a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel
of pride or wrong desire,
to catch the wandering of my will,
and quench the kindling fire.
2. From thee that I no more may stray,
no more thy goodness grieve,
grant me the filial awe, I pray,
the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
awake my soul when sin is nigh,
and keep it still awake.
3. Almighty God of truth and love,
to me thy power impart;
the mountain from my soul remove,
the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain
my reawakened soul,
and drive me to that blood again,
which makes the wounded whole.

Proverbs 31.23
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
Thinking today about the ways a good wife enhances a husbands likelihood to be a successful leader.

Proverbs 1.10 & 20
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
I'm listening to someone. Who?

A result of and intensive crying out, searching, etc. for wisdom is that the Lord, "stores up sound wisdom for the upright..." (7) That shielding wisdom transforms his thinking in contrast with those who leave "the path."
Proverbs 2.14
They take pleasure in doing wrong,
and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
Lord, keep changing my heart to take pleasure in you and your ways.

Proverbs 3.27 When it is in your power,
don’t withhold good from the one it belongs to.
The purpose of our power is to enable us to be givers. It should bring satisfaction to be able to do good and a joy to actually do it.

Proverbs 4.5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
The key words for this proverb/admonition is "focus." It is so easy to get lazy or distracted.

Ezekiel 20.12
Q: Why did the Lord give Israel the Sabbaths (note plural)?
A: So that they would know that He was (is) the LORD that sanctifies them.
Thinking about how the Sabbaths did that and what it has to do with me today.

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection. ~ Watchman Nee
 Proverbs 5.21-22
For a man’s ways are before the LORD’s eyes,
and He considers all his paths.
A wicked man’s iniquities entrap him;
he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin.
Two good reasons not to sin by going beyond what the Lord has provided for me.
Help me be mindful that you are watching, weighing, and rewarding, and that your commands are in my best interest.

Judgment is pronounced against Moab because they thought God's chosen nation, Israel, was like all the other nations. Ammon is also denouced in vv. 3-4. It seems like there may be an application for us there somewhere.
Ezekiel 25.8-9 "'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Because Moab and Seir say, 'Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,' therefore, behold, I will clear the territory of Moab of cities, of the cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kirjathaim."

Much of this chapter is about the danger of adultery and the importance of being principled. I'm thinking about how these seven relate.
Proverbs 6.16
"These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:"
Plotting evil
Perverting justice

Proverbs 7's account of the simplton and the seductress is full of "screaming at the TV" moments. One of the most puzzling is in verses 13-14.
So she caught him and kissed him;
With an impudent face she said to him:
"I have peace offerings with me;
Today I have paid my vows..."
How is it we can be put at ease by the most shallow religious observance and miss the glaring, obvious wickedness? but we do.
Lord, help the things that are most important to You be my focus and priority too.

"Because you set your heart as the heart as the heart of a god..."
I am thinking about this sobering charge against Tyre in Ezekiel 28.6. Their heart had been lifted up because of their wisdom, success, and riches. God, please keep me humbly focused on Your greatness and my proper place before you.