10/18/14

From Jim McGuiggan... The Music Man and the Prophets


The Music Man and the Prophets

In the NT the Hebrew writer (1:1) said that God spoke to the fathers by the prophets in "various ways". There were dreams, direct speech, visions while awake, apocalyptic images, historical events and more. As we work to understand these men this should help us to keep our eye on what should be obvious as we read them; but under pressure from our neighbours and the accepted orthodoxy it's the obvious that we often ignore. The Hebrew writer gives us permission to accept the obvious—the prophets communicated in more than one way Isaiah 1:1, Micah 1:1 and Amos 1:1 when they speak of the word that the prophet "saw," make explicit what most of the prophets take for granted. I'm certain that I don't understand all that they meant by "saw" and I'm also certain that I don't understand all the mechanics of inspiration but I believe the prophets "saw" their message as well as hearing it and I believe the message was received and delivered under God's superintendence.  

Our English word "fantasy", with the rest of its family, comes finally from a Greek word meaning to "show or appear or become visible". The ability to fantasise is the ability to think in images, which is often what we mean when we say imagine. People who write fantasy write fantastic things even though at times they're making points about issues and truths known to (or should be) or experienced by people in general. People like Stephen Donaldson, C. S Lewis and Jonathan Swift make their point and gain our attention (and sometimes our agreement) by appealing to us via our imagination. Prophets were doing that kind of thing since the days of Joel and Amos nearly eight hundred years before Jesus.

People like "Longinus" (whoever that was) in a work on rhetoric called On the Sublime (15) spoke of phantasia as an important method in a speaker's armoury as he uses the strength of visualisation to inspire or frighten his listeners into some definite response.

The Music Man is a great movie at the entertainment level but it's also an education in communication. The con-man, "Professor" Harold Hill, wants to get the River City people to pour their hard-earned money into his pocket before he vanishes. He decides he'll persuade them to fund a school band, instruments, uniforms—the lot; but how will be go about it? He spots the beginnings of a pool-hall and paints pictures of the awful fruit that comes from pool-halls. Oh, yes, "there's trouble; trouble in River City" and the children are in danger. Look, already the tell-tale signs are showing! When he has them thoroughly frightened by the visions he's thrown up he shows them the cure—a school band with all the splendour and joy and innocence that goes with it.

At one point he has the kids marching through the main street pretending to play instruments and such is the power of the vision that the mayor and the mayoral committee are bragging on the glory of River City's band that's marching by them. They mayor says he thought their band was a match for any band this side of the Mississippi. It was only when Marion, the librarian, walked by and hissed in disbelief, "What band?" that they woke from their dreaming. The stunned and sheepish mayor said of Professor Hill, "He's a spellbinder!" An appeal to the imagination is a powerful element in persuasion.

Biblically and in regard to content, even sheer fantasy has its rules so while the images often could not be taken literally, they were not unintelligible. [We can visualise a star falling on the earth even though it isn't literally possible and we can imagine the sky as a piece of paper being rolled up. Even imagination depends on the normal use of speech.] And equally to the point, the images used had to be in the service of some definite point the speaker had in mind. Where there's no "plot" or "point" no one is going to get up and talk about fantastic things.

"So what's Demosthenes doing today?"
 
"What he does every day in the market—he's spouting verbal pictures."
 
"And what's his point?"
 
"He has no point; he just likes talking in pictures."

No one does that and certainly no prophet did. When it comes to images Daniel and Zechariah offer us more of the "fantastic" in their use of images though the prophets in general make a lot of use of imagery and they always had a point. The more "fantastic" and sustained imaging is characteristic of what has come to be called "apocalyptic" literature, which, though recognisably distinct, is really nothing more than the extension of something you can see everywhere in the Bible.

As I mentioned above, plot and point are essential.

Jeremiah 4 is part of a large section levelled against faithless Judah (4:3, 5, 11, 22) and the prophet outlines God's judgement that will come via the Babylonians. The people had heard of and experienced God's judgement before this time so the concept wasn't hard to understand (even if they thought it unwarranted). It was a local judgement the prophet had in mind—that is, it was Babylon coming to judge Judah; it isn't a discussion of the final judgement much less a discussion about individual judgement after death. What makes it noteworthy for us is how the prophet "sees" and tells it.

In 4:23-31 he says he "saw" a picture of the judgement and it turns out to be a vision of uncreation. It is Genesis 1 in reverse and it is the curse of the earth as in Genesis 3. Why does the prophet link the local judgement on Judah with the undoing of Genesis 1 or the curse in Genesis 3:17-19?
He is underscoring the profound sinfulness of sin.
He is telling us that there is a single narrative of sin—from beginning to end sin and sinning is a single story.
He is reminding us that sin has cosmic consequences—it affects the entire creation.
"If you think you understand what you see going on, you're mistaken. When you've talked of the political, economic, military and social elements involved here you haven't got to the bottom of things. There's more in it than meets the eye. If you think your sin affects only you you're as wrong as you can be." So a prophet would say.

Questions and Answers: Why is the Book of Esther in the Bible? Kyle Butt, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=89

Questions and Answers: Why is the Book of Esther in the Bible?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Q.
Why is the book of Esther in the Bible, since it does not mention God?

A.

God operates in many different ways. In the book of Exodus, for example, we read about God working through Moses to part the Red Sea, and to turn a shepherd’s rod into a serpent. During New Testament times, God gave Jesus power to heal all manner of sickness, cure blindness, and even raise the dead.
But miracles were only one way in which God worked. He also worked (and continues to work) through providence, which means that He uses natural laws to accomplish His varied purposes. For instance, in Acts 14:17, the apostle Paul explained to his listeners that God gave them “rain from heaven and fruitful seasons,” thereby filling their hearts “with food and gladness.” How had God given them such blessings? Did He miraculously drop apples out of the sky or turn stones to bread? No, He used the natural forces of this world to accomplish His purposes. God always is at work “behind the scenes” to make sure that His ultimate will is accomplished.
When we study the book of Esther, it is true that we never read God’s name. But many of the things that occurred in the book could not have been “just luck.” Take, for instance, the time that King Ahasuerus could not sleep, and his servant “just happened” to read the records of the time that Mordecai had saved the king’s life (Esther 6:1-3). In fact, the entire book of Esther shows that God’s guiding hand was working behind the scenes to save the Jewish nation. Esther’s guardian, Mordecai, once said to her: “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14). His statement shows that he was seeing God’s possible plan for Esther.
Today, no person has been given the power to raise the dead or turn sticks into snakes, but God still is at work through His guiding hand of providence. The book of Esther serves to remind us that we do not need to see God (or even read His name) to know that He is “not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

From Mark Copeland... Listen To Your Parents (Proverbs 1:8-9)

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                     Listen To Your Parents (1:8-9)

INTRODUCTION

1. We saw that the beginning (principal part) of knowledge is to fear
   the Lord... - Pr 1:7
   a. You will more likely heed His counsel
   b. Unlike fools who despise wisdom and instruction

2. In addition to the Lord, we should listen to our parents... - Pr 1:
   8-9
   a. Counsel that follows right after an admonition to fear (yara') the
      Lord
   b. In fact, the same word (yara') is used elsewhere in regards to
      parents - Lev 19:3

[The admonition to listen to one's parents is repeated throughout the
book (Pr 4:1; 6:20; 23:22).  Consider some reasons why it is wise to
heed our parents...]

I. THE WISDOM OF LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS

   A. THEIR KNOWLEDGE...
      1. Your parents know you better than anyone
         a. They fed you, clothed you, changed your diapers
         b. They saw you grow, how you responded to crisis, know your
            personality
      2. Parents have the potential to provide better advice than anyone
         else
         a. Unlike teachers, counselors, who see you only for a few
            minutes or hours
         b. Unlike friends who may be motivated to tell you what they
            want you to hear
      -- No one has a better opportunity to know what you need than your
         parents!

   B. THEIR EXPERIENCE...
      1. They have been where you are
      2. They are now where you are headed (if you should live as long)
      3. They are like sergeants leading their squads
         a. Sergeants are older, more experienced, more likely
            battle-hardy
         b. They have survived what new recruits have yet to experience
         c. It would be folly for a private to not listen to his
            sergeant
      -- Children with parents are blessed to have advice from those who
         traveled the same road, only much farther

   C. THEIR WISDOM...
      1. Their own experience provides one source of wisdom
      2. Their wisdom often includes that of their parents (your
         grandparents)
         a. Most people eventually appreciate their parents' advice
            - e.g., Pr 4:1-4
            1) "The greatest teacher I ever had was my mother." - George
               Washington
            2) "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
               - Abraham Lincoln
         b. Especially when their own kids come along
         c. So parents often have the accumulated wisdom of several
            generations
      3. Their wisdom may also include the wisdom of God!
         a. Especially if one is blessed to have Christian parents
         b. Who have studied that inspired wisdom passed down for many
            generations
      -- Children with Christian parents are blessed with wisdom from
         many sources!

[The wisdom of listening to your parents should be a no-brainer.  Only
the foolish and immature despise the advice and counsel of their parents
(Pr 15:5).  But there is not only the wisdom, there is also...]

II. THE BEAUTY OF LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS

   A. THEIR WISDOM IS LIKE GRACEFUL JEWELRY...
      1. "a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck"
         - ESV
      2. "a graceful wreath to your head and ornaments about your neck"
         - NASB
      -- Like accessories worn to make one more attractive, beautiful,
         or handsome

   B. CHILDREN MADE ATTRACTIVE BY THEIR PARENTS' WISDOM...
      1. "That is, filial respect and obedience will be as ornamental to
         thee as crowns, diadems, and golden chains and pearls are to
         others." - Adam Clarke
      2. "The instructions and laws of parents being attended unto and
         obeyed by children, render them more lovely and amiable than
         any beautiful ornament whatever that can be put upon their
         heads;" - John Gill
      -- Children who revere their parents by heeding their counsel are
         made more attractive and appealing to others by such counsel

   C. COMPARE THE UGLINESS OF PARENTAL DISRESPECT...
      1. As expressed by King Agur, many children do not honor their
         parents - Pr 30:1,11
      2. Proverbs warn of the tragic end of those who dishonor parents
         - Pr 30:17; 20:20
      3. Perhaps influenced by the decrees found in the Law of Moses
         - Deut 27:16
         a. The penalty for cursing parents was death - Lev 20:9
         b. The penalty for a rebellious son was likewise - Deut 21:18-21
      -- Children who did not honor their parents were harshly judged by
         God in OT times

CONCLUSION

1. Fortunately, we live under the law of Christ...
   a. A time of grace, longsuffering, and mercy
   b. But a time where despising God's mercy will eventually be called
      into account - Ro 2:4-6

2. The law of Christ still expects children to respect their parents...
   a. To obey and honor them - Ep 6:1-2
   b. Even as Jesus honored His earthly parents - Lk 2:51-52

Note that as Jesus increased in wisdom, so He did in favor with God and
man.  His own example illustrates the truth of our lesson, and that
written later in Proverbs:

   "My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
   for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.
   Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck,
   write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high
   esteem In the sight of God and man." - Pr 3:1-4

May the wisdom of your own parents grace your neck, having been written
on your heart ...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Theme Of Proverbs (1:7)

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                      The Theme Of Proverbs (1:7)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study we considered the purpose of the book of
   Proverbs...
   a. To know wisdom, perceive words of understanding - Pr 1:2
   b. To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and
      equity - Pr 1:3
   c. To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and
      discretion - Pr 1:4
   d. To increase learning for a wise man, to give counsel to a man of
      understanding - Pr 1:5
   e. To understand proverbs and enigmas, the words of the wise and
      their riddles - Pr 1:6

2. In this study, we shall focus our attention on the theme of the
   book...
   a. Found in verse 7 (read)
   b. Stated in the form of antithetical parallelism
   c. In which the repeated terms of a poetic couplet are opposite in
      meaning
   d. Typical of thought rhyme (as opposed to word rhyme) found in
      Hebrew poetry

[We first note that it is "the fear of the LORD" which is...]

I. THE BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE

   A. THE FEAR OF THE LORD EXPLAINED...
      1. The term yara' (fear) is the common word for fear in the OT and
         has a basic three-fold range of  meanings - as per the NET Bible
         a. Dread, terror - Deut 1:29; Jon 1:10
         b. To stand in awe (in reference to a king) - 1Ki 3:28
         c. To revere, to respect (in regards to parents) - Lev 19:3
      2. Notice when God descended upon Sinai amid geophysical
         convulsions - cf. Exo 20:18-20
         a. Moses encouraged the Israelites to not be afraid of God
            arbitrarily striking them dead for no reason ("Do not
            fear!")
         b. He informed them that the Lord revealed Himself in such a
            terrifying manner to scare them from sinning ("God has come
            to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that
            you may not sin.")
      3. Thus there is also a place for such fear of the Lord in the
         life of a Christian
         a. We should fear God, not man - Mt 10:28
         b. The early church walked in the fear of the Lord - Ac 9:31
         c. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling
            - Php 2:12
         d. We should be fearful of apostasy, serving God with godly
            fear - He 10:26-31; 12:28-29
      -- The fear of the LORD is expressed in reverential submission to
         his will - NET Bible

   B. THE FEAR OF THE LORD ESTEEMED...
      1. From the book of Proverbs we learn concerning the fear of the
         Lord:
         a. It is the beginning of knowledge - Pr 1:7
         b. It will cause one to hate evil - Pr 8:13
         c. It will prolong life - Pr 10:27
         d. It provides strong confidence and is a fountain of life
            - Pr 14:26-27
         e. It prompts one to depart from evil - Pr 16:6
         f. It leads to a satisfying life, and spares one from much evil
            - Pr 19:23
         g. It is the way to riches, honor, and life! - Pr 22:4
      2. Thus without the fear of the Lord:
         a. We deprive ourselves of the treasures of God's wisdom and
            knowledge
         b. We will flirt with evil and be corrupted by it
         c. Our lives are likely to be shortened by our refusal to heed
            God's word (e.g., suffering sexually transmitted diseases if
            we do not heed His Word on sexual relationships)
         d. We will not come to know the love of God that gives us
            assurance and confidence of our salvation
         e. When fallen into sin, we will not be motivated to repent and
            turn to God!
         f. We will not be motivated to truly "work out our own
            salvation"
      -- The fear of the Lord should be a highly regarded and sought
         after trait to develop!

[The fear of the Lord serves as the beginning or principal part of
becoming truly wise.  Now let's notice the second half of verse 7 which
reveals...]

II. THE WAY OF FOLLY

   A. THE FOOLISH DESPISE WISDOM...
      1. The Hebrew word 'evil (fool) refers to a person characterized
         by moral folly - NET Bible
      2. It is an adjective meaning foolish in the sense of one who
         hates wisdom and walks in folly, despising wisdom and morality
         - TCWD
      3. This foolish disdain for wisdom expressed elsewhere in Proverbs
         - Pr 1:22; 17:16; 18:2
      -- For one to despise the wisdom of God (such as found in this
         book) is truly foolish!

   B. THE FOOLISH DISREGARD INSTRUCTION...
      1. Not interested in wisdom, they are unwilling to heed the
         counsel of others
      2. As expressed by the voice of wisdom herself - cf. Pr 1:25,30
      3. Lack of such counsel leads to defeat and failure - Pr 11:14;
         15:22
      4. The fool listens only to his own heart - Pr 12:15
      5. But wisdom and delight can be attained through the counsel of
         others - Pr 19:20; 27:9
      -- In the book of Proverbs, the fool is characterized mostly by
         his or her unwillingness to listen to the advice of others
         (God, parents, friends, etc.)

CONCLUSION

1. Here then is the underlying theme throughout the book of Proverbs...
   a. Develop the fear of the Lord if you desire to become truly wise
   b. Discount the warnings and counsel of others, and you will be a
      fool!

2. As Christians, let us be truly wise by developing the fear of the
   Lord...
   a. For His knowledge has given us great and precious promises - cf.
      2Pe 1:2-4
   b. It behooves us to perfect holiness in the fear of God - cf. 2 Co 7:1

Shall we be wise, or shall we be fools...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland.... The Prologue To Proverbs (1:1-6)

                         "THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"

                    The Prologue To Proverbs (1:1-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. There is a great need for wisdom in our society today...
   a. Lack of wisdom is destroying the lives of many young people, and
      making fools out of some who are older
   b. Marriages are destroyed, friendships lost, souls doomed for lack
      of wisdom

2. The walk of the Christian is to be with wisdom as we go through
   life... - Ep 5:15-17
   a. Because time is fleeting, and the days are evil, we must make the
      best use of our time
   b. Too many today are wasting both their time and their lives by
      failing to exercise wisdom in their daily lives

3. The Word of God equips man unto every good work... - 2Ti 3:16-17
   a. It is only natural to assume that it provides us with sound advice
      concerning daily living
   b. Indeed it does, especially in The Book of Proverbs found in the
      Old Testament

4. The book begins by identifying Solomon, son of David, king of Israel,
   as the author...
   a. Who was granted wisdom by God - 2Ch 1:7-12
   b. Who became famous for his wisdom, and wrote over 3000 proverbs
      - 1Ki 4:29-34

5. The book also contains proverbs and wisdom from other sources...
   a. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh to Ithiel and Ucal - Pr 30:
      1-33
   b. The words of King Lemuel, taught him by his mother - Pr 31:1-31

[In this lesson, let's introduce ourselves to the book by first
considering the prologue, in which we find...]

I. THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK

   A. STATED IN THE FIRST SIX VERSES...
      1. "To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of
         understanding"
      2. "To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and
         equity"
      3. To give to the...
         a. Simple (naive) - "prudence"
         b. Young man - "knowledge and discretion"
         c. Wise man - "increased learning"
         d. Man of understanding - "wise counsel"

   B. THE BOOK IS DESIGNED...
      1. To make a person wise!
      2. To learn how to:
         a. Act wisely and righteously
         b. Treat others with fairness
      3. To give...
         a. The ignorant, common sense
         b. The young, sound advice
         c. The wise, even more wisdom

[At this point, it might be appropriate to ask:  "What exactly is
wisdom, and why is it so valuable...?"]

II. THE DEFINITION AND VALUE OF WISDOM

   A. DEFINING WISDOM...
      1. "Wisdom...may be defined as a realistic approach to the
         problems of life..." - 20th Century Encyclopedia of Religious
         Knowledge
      2. Homer Hailey offered this definition of wisdom:  "Wisdom is
         insight into the underlying causes and significance or
         consequence of things, which insight enables one to apply to
         the best end the knowledge which he has."
      3. To illustrate:
         a. You are yelled at by your boss, wife, or brother in
            Christ...
            1) You could react in different ways
               a) Strike back physically, or verbally
               b) Do nothing
               c) React with a soft, kind reply - cf. Pr 15:1
            2) Wisdom is that insight which helps you to decide what is
               the best thing to do
         b. Someone makes sexual advances towards you...
            1) Again, you could react in several different ways
            2) But wisdom will enable you to react in the proper way

   B. VALUATING WISDOM...
      1. The first nine chapters of Proverbs are discourses extolling
         the value of wisdom
      2. The virtue of wisdom is seen in the prosperous life it can
         produce - Pr 3:13-18
      3. Its value is also found in guarding us against many pitfalls
         - Pr 3:21-26
      4. Some "pitfalls" frequently warned against in The Book Of
         Proverbs:
         a. Evil companionship - Pr 1:10-19
         b. The immoral woman - Pr 5:1-14
         c. Laziness - Pr 6:6-11

[Certainly we should be able to see that wisdom is of great value.  But
let's go one step further and notice in particular the value of the book
of Proverbs in regards to having wisdom...]

III. THE VALUE OF THE BOOK

   A. WISDOM COMES FROM TWO SOURCES...
      1. Trial and error (personal experience)
         a. One's own experiences can certainly be a source of wisdom
         b. But there are disadvantages to gaining wisdom this way:
            1) Much of one's lifetime can be wasted learning through
               trial and error
            2) One must live with the consequences of their errors
         c. Sadly, this is the only way some gain wisdom, and that only
            if they survive their errors!
      2. Counsel from others (proven experience)
         a. This is possible if one is willing to heed the advice of
            others
         b. There are clear advantages to gaining wisdom this way:
            1) You avoid wasting years through trial and error, thus
               living life to its fullest measure!
            2) You experience life unburdened with the consequences of
               earlier mistakes
         c. Certainly this method of gaining wisdom is far superior!

   B. THIS MAKES THE BOOK OF PROVERBS VALUABLE...
      1. Instead of wasting our short time here on earth trying to
         discover wisdom through the process of trial and error, we can
         go straight to The Book Of Proverbs
      2. There we can find wisdom that is:
         a. Divinely inspired by God!
         b. Proven true by generations of righteous people who lived out
            their lives by it
         c. Expressed concisely in ways easy to remember (Proverb: "a
            short sentence based on long experience" - Cervantes in Don
            Quixote)
      3. Yes, the value of The Book Of Proverbs is that it provides the
         wisdom of God Himself!
         a. This is not to say that it takes little effort to glean from
            this wisdom - cf. Pr 2:1-6
         b. But for those who will look to God through His Word and
            prayer, the promise of God is that wisdom will be granted
            them - cf. Jm 1:5-8
         c. And this is a far better way to find wisdom than the way
            most people do it!

CONCLUSION

1. I hope this introductory lesson has made you want to study The Book
   Of Proverbs in order to glean its treasury of wisdom

2. In succeeding lessons, we will examine The Book Of Proverbs more
   closely by...
   a. Making our way through the discourses on wisdom in the first nine
      chapters
   b. Considering the wisdom it offers pertaining to various themes
      (family, work, God, etc.)

Our next study will focus on the theme of the book of Proverbs...

   "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools
   despise wisdom and instruction." - Pr 1:7

Of course, no discussion concerning wisdom can be complete without
mentioning Jesus Christ...

   "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
                                                         - Col 2:3

Without Jesus Christ in our lives, there is no way to be truly wise.
Have you come to Christ through obedience to His gospel...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary.... Bible Reading October 18



Bible Reading  

October 18

The World English Bible


Oct. 18
Proverbs 27-29

Pro 27:1 Don't boast about tomorrow; for you don't know what a day may bring forth.
Pro 27:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
Pro 27:3 A stone is heavy, and sand is a burden; but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is overwhelming; but who is able to stand before jealousy?
Pro 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Pro 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; although the kisses of an enemy are profuse.
Pro 27:7 A full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.
Pro 27:8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home.
Pro 27:9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart; so does earnest counsel from a man's friend.
Pro 27:10 Don't forsake your friend and your father's friend. Don't go to your brother's house in the day of your disaster: better is a neighbor who is near than a distant brother.
Pro 27:11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart, then I can answer my tormentor.
Pro 27:12 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge; but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.
Pro 27:13 Take his garment when he puts up collateral for a stranger. Hold it for a wayward woman!
Pro 27:14 He who blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse by him.
Pro 27:15 A continual dropping on a rainy day and a contentious wife are alike:
Pro 27:16 restraining her is like restraining the wind, or like grasping oil in his right hand.
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.
Pro 27:18 Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat its fruit. He who looks after his master shall be honored.
Pro 27:19 As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Pro 27:20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied; and a man's eyes are never satisfied.
Pro 27:21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold; but man is refined by his praise.
Pro 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his foolishness will not be removed from him.
Pro 27:23 Know well the state of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds:
Pro 27:24 for riches are not forever, nor does even the crown endure to all generations.
Pro 27:25 The hay is removed, and the new growth appears, the grasses of the hills are gathered in.
Pro 27:26 The lambs are for your clothing, and the goats are the price of a field.
Pro 27:27 There will be plenty of goats' milk for your food, for your family's food, and for the nourishment of your servant girls.
Pro 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues; but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Pro 28:2 In rebellion, a land has many rulers, but order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge.
Pro 28:3 A needy man who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain which leaves no crops.
Pro 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked; but those who keep the law contend with them.
Pro 28:5 Evil men don't understand justice; but those who seek Yahweh understand it fully.
Pro 28:6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is perverse in his ways, and he is rich.
Pro 28:7 Whoever keeps the law is a wise son; but he who is a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Pro 28:8 He who increases his wealth by excessive interest gathers it for one who has pity on the poor.
Pro 28:9 He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
Pro 28:10 Whoever causes the upright to go astray in an evil way, he will fall into his own trap; but the blameless will inherit good.
Pro 28:11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes; but the poor who has understanding sees through him.
Pro 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory; but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
Pro 28:13 He who conceals his sins doesn't prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Pro 28:14 Blessed is the man who always fears; but one who hardens his heart falls into trouble.
Pro 28:15 As a roaring lion or a charging bear, so is a wicked ruler over helpless people.
Pro 28:16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment. One who hates ill-gotten gain will have long days.
Pro 28:17 A man who is tormented by life blood will be a fugitive until death; no one will support him.
Pro 28:18 Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe; but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly.
Pro 28:19 One who works his land will have an abundance of food; but one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man is rich with blessings; but one who is eager to be rich will not go unpunished.
Pro 28:21 To show partiality is not good; yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread.
Pro 28:22 A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn't know that poverty waits for him.
Pro 28:23 One who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than one who flatters with the tongue.
Pro 28:24 Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, "It's not wrong." He is a partner with a destroyer.
Pro 28:25 One who is greedy stirs up strife; but one who trusts in Yahweh will prosper.
Pro 28:26 One who trusts in himself is a fool; but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe.
Pro 28:27 One who gives to the poor has no lack; but one who closes his eyes will have many curses.
Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; but when they perish, the righteous thrive.
Pro 29:1 He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck will be destroyed suddenly, with no remedy.
Pro 29:2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Pro 29:3 Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
Pro 29:4 The king by justice makes the land stable, but he who takes bribes tears it down.
Pro 29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.
Pro 29:6 An evil man is snared by his sin, but the righteous can sing and be glad.
Pro 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor. The wicked aren't concerned about knowledge.
Pro 29:8 Mockers stir up a city, but wise men turn away anger.
Pro 29:9 If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man, the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace.
Pro 29:10 The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity; and they seek the life of the upright.
Pro 29:11 A fool vents all of his anger, but a wise man brings himself under control.
Pro 29:12 If a ruler listens to lies, all of his officials are wicked.
Pro 29:13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both.
Pro 29:14 The king who fairly judges the poor, his throne shall be established forever.
Pro 29:15 The rod of correction gives wisdom, but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother.
Pro 29:16 When the wicked increase, sin increases; but the righteous will see their downfall.
Pro 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace; yes, he will bring delight to your soul.
Pro 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the law is blessed.
Pro 29:19 A servant can't be corrected by words. Though he understands, yet he will not respond.
Pro 29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Pro 29:21 He who pampers his servant from youth will have him become a son in the end.
Pro 29:22 An angry man stirs up strife, and a wrathful man abounds in sin.
Pro 29:23 A man's pride brings him low, but one of lowly spirit gains honor.
Pro 29:24 Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul. He takes an oath, but dares not testify.
Pro 29:25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.
Pro 29:26 Many seek the ruler's favor, but a man's justice comes from Yahweh.
Pro 29:27 A dishonest man detests the righteous, and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.

 
Oct. 18
Philippians 3

Php 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not tiresome, but for you it is safe.
Php 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.
Php 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;
Php 3:4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more:
Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
Php 3:7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Php 3:10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death;
Php 3:11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brothers, I don't regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you.
Php 3:16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind.
Php 3:17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example.
Php 3:18 For many walk, of whom I told you often, and now tell you even weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ,
Php 3:19 whose end is destruction, whose god is the belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who think about earthly things.
Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Php 3:21 who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.



From Gary... Want to play...???


This is a picture of Walt's dog, Diesel Dan.  Humm, I wonder what HE WANTS TO DO???  Play, of course!!!  And when is PLAY a bad thing?? Read the following passage to find out...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 10 (ASV)
1 For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;  2 and were all baptized [1] unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;*n1   3 and did all eat the same spiritual food;  4 and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was [1] Christ.*n2   5 Howbeit with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
  6 Now [1] these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.*n3   7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, [1] The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.*n4   8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.  9 Neither let us make trial of the [1] Lord, as some of them made trial, and perished by the serpents.*n5  10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer.  11 Now these things happened unto them [1] by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.*n6   12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall

In this passage, Paul is giving his readers a bit of a history lesson.  He refers to their Hebrew ancestors and what they did in the wilderness.  And it was not good!!!  Now, I am 100% in favor of having a good time, but I would put bounds on what constitutes "good": Playing ball is included; the things mentioned in this passage are not!!!  So, be careful how you "Play"- remember verse 12!!!