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Monthly Archives: January 2013

We Have A Choice….

SIH HALTAL ICONQuiet and Safety or Destruction and Death.  Which do we choose?

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:29-33)

For a verse by verse explanation:  http://wp.me/pU88A-1Qz

“SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:24-33 (2)”

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Ignoring The Proverbs Brings God’s Displeasure Upon Us:  Prov 1:29-33 

29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon continues His explanation of the cost that is incurred when the wisdom of God is ignored.

EXPOSITION:

29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Solomon describes those who ignore these proverbs as enemies of the truth with no desire to reverence, honor or submit to the Lord.  They have no respect for the Lord’s holiness, His power or His hand of chastening.

Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.  What [is] the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?   Job 21:14-15

 

30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
There is no acceptance of His advice which results in the brushing off all of the Lord’s corrections.

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels [and] in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.  Jer 7:23-24

31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Because the seed of mistreatment of the Lord and His Word is sown, they reap a fitting harvest.  They have brought this bitter reward upon themselves resulting in them being “filled to their limit”, disgusted,  with their own sinful inventions that have brought such sorrow upon them.

“Say ye to the righteous, that [it shall be] well [with him]: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.”  Isa 3:10-11

32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 
Solomon continues to emphasize their responsibility by reminding us that, when the naïve depart from the truths of God, it will result in their eternal death and destruction.  Likewise, when the foolish choose the riches of the world over the things of God, they, too, will face eternal ruin.

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel.  See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:   Heb 12:24-25 (KJV)

 

33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
In comparison, by hearing with attention, understanding, and a desire to obey, a place of refuge for the listener is made secure.  Within this refuge there will be peace and serenity in the midst of dreadful alarming adversities.

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:”  Isa 48:18

SUMMARY:

This is a continuing explanation of the results of ignoring the wisdom that God has so graciously given to us through the pen of Solomon.  Especially, we can see that we are held accountable by Almighty God to receive His words and apply them to our lives.  When we purposely walk away from His teachings, refusing to learn nor apply them to our lives we can only expect a dreadful, deserved end.

As we look back at the entire chapter we can see that Solomon has made a very strong case for the need to study these teachings and seek by God’s grace to apply them to our lives….
1. Introduction – 1:1
2. Proverbs Equips Us For Service – 1:2-4
3. Proverbs Brings Blessings Upon Those Who Embrace Them – 1:5-9
4. Proverbs Gives Us Direction To Avoid Evil – 1:10-15
5. Proverbs Gives Us Reasons To Avoid Evil – 1:16-19
6. Proverbs Reveals The Value Of Godly Wisdom – 1:20-23
7. Proverbs, When Ignored, Brings Upon Us God’s Displeasure – 1:24-33

What better reasons could we have to diligently search the Proverbs for all their hidden treasures?

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

We Have Been Graciously Warned…

SIH HALTAL ICONLet’s All Take Heed!

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: Proverbs 1:27-18

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:24-33 (1)

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Ignoring The Wisdom Of God Brings His Displeasure Upon Us:  Prov 1:24-28 

24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon explains the grave consequences that are faced when wisdom of God is ignored.

EXPOSITION:

24)  Because I have called, and ye refused;I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Wisdom now explains what will take place if her gracious invitation is refused….
She has called out, issuing a personal invitation to come and hear her words, which was utterly rejected.  She has extended an open hand of offering and yet no attention was given to it.

This is describing the WILLFUL rejection of the words of wisdom.  It is making an INFORMED CHOICE to not heed its call, nor respond to its offer.
I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts;”  Isaiah 65:2

 

25)  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Those who have chosen to reject wisdom’s offer has dismissed (or sent away) wisdom’s advice and be content knowing the correction is awaiting them.

But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.”  Ps 81:11

 

26)  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Because wisdom has been purposefully refused, the results of that choice must be faced without divine comfort and aid…

1. Wisdom will find pleasure (shown in laughter) in justice being issued.  This justice will be in the form of withholding of grace resulting in ruin.
2. Wisdom will bring to remembrance the rejection of her invitation (the purpose of the mocking) when the rejecters are facing dreadful, alarming times.

Here, again, we see the Lord’s knowledge of justice eventually being performed as a source of His pleasure…

The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. Ps 37:13 (KJV)

 

27)  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.  28)  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
When the troubles rush down like a windstorm resulting in the uprooting of life (like a tornado); when there seems to be no escape and troubles must be faced there will be no hope.  This is because the Lord does not honor the seeking of Him, when forced to do so.

In this case, He is sought for personal gain alone apart from any desire to submit to, nor trust in, Him.  He will not respond, nor will He show Himself to rebellious, selfish seekers.

Throughout the Old Testament, we have example after example given of those who reject the Word who then face troubles as a result.  We are to learn from these examples and seek the application of His truth in our lives…

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:  Heb 12:25

SUMMARY:

Solomon graciously warns each one of us of the results of our rejecting Wisdom and the futility of seeking the Lord out of self-serving motives.   These result in displeasure before the Lord and His ultimate rejection.  By God’s grace, let us all heed the words of Wisdom and come before His presence trusting in Him and in submission to His will.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Wisdom Of Proverbs Is Inviting Us To Come…

SIH HALTAL ICONWhy Are We Waiting?

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, [saying], How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Proverbs 1:20-23

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:20-23

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Proverbs Reveals The Value Of Godly Wisdom:  Prov 1:20-23 

20) Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21) She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates:
in the city she uttereth her words, [saying],
22) How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?
and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23) Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,
I will make known my words unto you.

INTRODUCTION:
Solomon continues to explain his motives in writing the Proverbs by reminding his students of the importance, and value, in the reception of wisdom.

EXPOSITION:

Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
Solomon pictures wisdom as a woman who is calling out an invitation to all that can hear her.

Who is this wisdom?  Throughout the book of Proverbs, wisdom is a representation of two related, but different, characters.  The one character behind this symbol is the inspired Word of God which gives men wisdom for living.

Secondly, wisdom is also representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself (especially seen in Proverbs 8: and 9:).   If we think about it, this is a common concept found in the New Testament description of the Messiah.  The title “Word” not only applies to the inspired, written word of God (1 Thess 2:13, Romans 10:17); but also, it applies to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1).

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  1Cor 1:24

In this use of symbolism, we have the written words of wisdom (the Scriptures) inviting mankind to come, hear and follow its teachings.  And we also have the Lord Jesus Christ inviting men to come unto Him for spiritual life, spiritual sight and the indwelling Spirit.

As a side note wisdom is said to speak in the New Testament also…

Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [some] of them they shall slay and persecute:  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.   Luke 11:49-51

She crieth in the chief place of concourse,  in the openings of the gates:
Wisdom is crying out in the places of great noise to the great mass of people gathered in the meeting places.  She does this in an effort to share with her truthful teachings with as many as possible and to stand in opposition to the false teachings that are in the world.

She also cries out at the gates to the city where the city judges render verdicts and non-citizens enter into the cities walls.  She does this in the hope of sharing wisdom with those who hold authority and rule over the people.  She also ministers here desiring to reach out to the aliens and strangers that are rejected by many.

We are to follow the example of Christ and proclaim His Word everywhere we come into contact with others…

Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.  John 18:20

in the city she uttereth her words, [saying],  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
As she spoke in the many varied sections of the city, she attempted to supply the needs of the people by inviting them to meet with her and listen to her words.  In this verse, she is addressing three of the greatest hindrances to to receiving her words….

1.  Simplicity – gullible, easily misled, – Those who are easily enticed to believe a false message of wisdom.
2.  Scorning – to mock, to interpret falsely – Those who reject and ridicule the truth.  This can also involve twisting wisdom into teachings of error.
3.  Foolishness – to be silly, wrong-headed – Those who do not take their spiritual condition, nor the message of wisdom seriously.

Why do all these attitudes appear in the lives of the lost?  It is because they are blinded to the truths of His Word and can only be opened by the gracious intervention of God…

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:  For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.  But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.  Matt 13:14-16

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,  I will make known my words unto you.
We can see one of the greatest roles of wisdom… to warn and keep others from making poor harmful choices.  She is asking all three of the above groups to accept her correction and change the direction they are headed.

What is the benefit that is awaiting those who follow wisdom’s advice? It is the guarantee that the same spirit of understanding and submission possessed by Christ will flow freely to these people.  This will result in their understanding of the truths of wisdom.  This is a solemn reminder to both the Old and New Testament believers that the submissive, humble spirit that was exemplified in Christ must be active in the life of the saint for them to come to a full understanding of God’s Word. By sharing in the mind of Christ we share in His truths as well…

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?  But we have the mind of Christ.”  1 Cor 2:12-16

This gift is to be given only to those who have submitted themselves to the teachings of wisdom.  For those who refuse to turn at wisdom’s reproof, we find that a different spirit would be given to them…

For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.”  Isa 29:10

SUMMARY:

Wisdom (a symbol of God’s Word and the Lord Himself) issues a call to turn from the ways of the world and come in an attitude of submission and belief.  It is only through accepting this invitation that we can receive the spirit (mind, attitude) of wisdom and come to an understanding of the Word. Let us all ask for His gracious intervention in our lives as we seek to submit to His will and increase our faith in Him.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Those Who Choose To Live Selfish Lives….

SIH HALTAL ICONHurt Others AND THEMSELVES….

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.  And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.  So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.  (Proverbs 1:15-19)

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:10-19 (2)

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

Proverbs Gives Us Reasons To Avoid Evil:  Prov 1:15-19 

15) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
16) For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
17) Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
18) And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.
19) So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

INTRODUCTION:

In this section of Proverbs chapter 1, we find Solomon setting the groundwork for the study of Proverbs by reminding his readers of the need to avoid evil…. this emphasizes another important benefit of a study of the book of Proverbs.

EXPOSITION:

My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path
Solomon has warned his students to not follow the path of the wicked, who lived selfish lives abusing others for their own personal gain (vs 10-15).  He now progresses in his teachings to describe WHY they should refrain from the ways of the wicked….

For their feet run to evil,
Their motives and actions cause them to rush to the commission of sin against God and the harm of others.

and make haste to shed blood.
Because of the evil nature of their motives and actions, the natural results of their evil doings are death and harm in two ways.

1. The result of their attacks on others is the physical harm and/or death of their victims.
2. The results of their actions upon themselves are even more serious… they bring upon themselves their own eternal spiritual death.  In many cases they also bring upon themselves physical harm or death.  All of these are received as judgment for the wickedness they have committed.

This proverb is quoted by the prophet Isaiah as he described the sinfulness of the people of Judah in his day – Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood:…” (Isa 59:7)

Also in the the New Testament, our Lord affirmed this truth… Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  [Ye] serpents, [ye] generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and [some] of them ye shall kill and crucify; and [some] of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute [them] from city to city:  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!”  (Matt 23:31-37)

This is an eternal truth that will last throughout the ages…. the actions of the wicked bring forth death and harm for both the victim and those who perform the wickedness.

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
Although the sinful acts of the wicked result in death (see above), the wicked are blinded to the fact that they are harming themselves and heaping punishment upon themselves.

It is much like a flying bird who vainly ignores the net sprinkled with grain that is spread to capture it.  Why does the bird ignore such an obvious indicator of its coming capture?  It’s longing for immediate satisfaction and pleasure found in eating the grain outweighs any threat of its future captivity in the net.

Prov 7:23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it [is] for his life.

And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives.
Because the sinful lusts of the wicked blind them to their coming doom, they think that they are waiting to capture the innocent, only to find that they are waiting to be captured in their own sinful plots.

Once again, in both phrases in this verse, the end result of the deeds of the wicked are expressed in terms of death…. “wait for their own blood” and “lurk privily for their own lives”.   (Psalm 7:14-16, Psalm 9:16,  Psalm 55:23)

So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Death is the lot in life for anyone who harms others as they continue on their path of selfishness, greed, theft and sinfulness.

2Pet 2:3 – “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

SUMMARY:

After considering the end results of the wicked, let us not be like the ignorant bird that seeks immediate satisfaction at the expense of eternal loss.  Let us live wisely, placing the satisfaction and pleasures of this world aside and placing our service to Christ first and foremost in our lives.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

When Others Try To Persuade Us To Sin, What Are We To Do?

SIH HALTAL ICONDo not let your guard down nor give in to them…. 

Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:10-19 (1)

SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 Proverbs Gives Us Direction To Avoid Evil:  Prov 1:10-15 

10) My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11) If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12) Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
13) We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
14) Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

INTRODUCTION:
In this section of Proverbs chapter 1, we find Solomon setting the groundwork for the study of Proverbs by reminding his readers of the need to avoid evil…. this emphasizes another important benefit of a study of the book of Proverbs.

EXPOSITION:

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
(This is speaking of temptations to sin against God).

Solomon, once again addresses his students giving them a very solemn warning…  If you are invited, through deception, to join those who live lives of rebellion against the Lord, do not let down your guard and give into their desires.  This is a theme throughout Proverbs and within all the pages of the Word (Proverbs 7:21-23, Proverbs 13:20, Psalms 1:1, Ephesians 5:11)
What is deceptive about the invitation to join up with the lawless?  Their promise is for gain and pleasure, but these are only temporal in nature and soon come to an end.  What they do not tell you is that for both lost or saved, giving into their temptations carries with it a great eternal price.  For the lost it is increased punishment in the Lake of Fire.  For the saved it is loss of eternal rewards.

Jer 14:10 Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

If they say, Come with us,
(This is speaking of temptations to sin against God by harming others)

The rebellious invite you to join them in sinful activities.

 let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
These activities will use deceit to harm those who are innocent.

Jer 5:26 For among my people are found wicked [men]: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.

Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
They will harm the innocent by totally dominating and overwhelming them by using our superior strength, riches, authority or abilities (all of which were given to us as gifts of grace from God).

We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
They are motivated out of selfishness, covetousness, greed, and a desire to control their victims.

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
They are expecting you to join them, take joint responsibility with them for their actions, and share in both the worldly gain and just punishment that will come upon them.

My son, walk not thou in the way with them;
Solomon’s clear instruction to them …. Do not join with them on their path by pursuing a lifestyle of following them and sharing in their pursuits.

refrain thy foot from their path:
He then goes further by teaching  the importance of avoiding every one of these sinful pursuits…do not allow one footstep of your life (any individual action) touch the route upon which they travel.

Ps 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

 

SUMMARY:
As followers of the Word of God and the living Word, the Lord Jesus, let us all abstain from temptation to disobey of God through the selfish abuse of others.  One of the steps to learning how to avoid these temptations can be found in a study of the Book of Proverbs.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Would You Like True Everlasting Joy?

SIH HALTAL ICONBe Sure You Have Fellowship With God Through The Work Of Jesus…

1 John 1:4-7 – “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. ”

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“IF”

SIH STSTA ICONThe word “if” is defined as “on the condition that” or “in the event of”.  Depending on its context, the very small word “if” can be used in very big ways.  In our study for today, we are going to be looking at a summary of the teachings of Christ. In this text, the Apostle John uses this small word “if” in the most significant way possible; he uses “if” to help us clearly define our spiritual condition before Almighty God.

THE SCRIPTURES:

1 John 1:1-2:2

THE STUDY:

1John 1:1-2:2

(1) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  (2)  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 

The Apostle John begins by explaining to us his relationship to Jesus.  John describes Christ as:

(1)  “That which was from the beginning” –  Jesus Christ was the Eternal God, who existed when the world and all that exists was created.  (John 1:1)
(2)  “That…. which we have heard” – John personally was taught by Christ.
(3)  “That… which we have seen with our eyes” – John personally saw and experienced the works of Christ.
(4)  “That… which we have looked upon” – John took great care in examining the works and teachings of Jesus.  He not only physically “saw” Christ’s life on earth, but he examined them and validated them.
(5)  “That…. Which we have handled” – John had physical contact with Christ.  He touched Christ, ate with Christ, worshipped with Him… the list goes on and on.
(6)  “The Word of Life” – by the “Word” John is speaking of Christ, the second person of the Godhead.  We know this from other of John’s writings (1 John 5:7, John 1:1-14, Rev 19:13).  Why does John describes Christ as “The Word”?  Just as the words of our mouth can be used to reveal truths about our person, thoughts, intents and character; so, too, Christ revealed the person, thoughts and works of God the Father.  Why does he call Christ the “Word of Life”.  It is through this same person that we can find spiritual life and communion with His Father.
(7)  “For the life was manifested… manifested unto us” – How was John able to personally experience God the Son?  It was because Christ was cleared revealed to man by His first coming when He came and lived among us.  John gives us a hint about the ministry of Christ on earth… it was all about “eternal life”.

Based upon the above, it was clear that John was well qualified to summarize the ministry of Christ for us.  We should never doubt the source of this account.  God (through the Spirit) inspired John (one well acquainted with Christ and His first coming) to pen the words we are about to read.  What better sources could we find to teach us about the ministry of Christ?
(3)  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  (4)  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

John now gives us his two-fold purpose to explaining the earthly ministry of Christ to us:
(1)  “that ye also may have fellowship with us” – John wanted us to enjoy spiritual partnership and sharing with other of God’s people.  It is only through the ministry of Christ that we can enjoy fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and God’s people. John wanted to be help those who are in need of salvation by showing them the source of eternal life
(2)  “that your joy may be full” – Also, John wanted us to have joy that is complete and overflowing.  Once again, this type of genuine permanent consistent joy can be found in Christ alone. For the Christian one of the sources of ongoing joy is living a life that is aligned with His will for us.  It is living a life of holiness, surrender to His use.  John wanted to help those who were servants of Christ by encouraging them to live holy lives for the Lord.

(5)  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 
John now reveals to us the very essence of the message that Christ handed to man…
(1) that God is light, “  What an important message.  Jesus made it plain that God cannot inhabit darkness.  He IS Light.  Therefore, we cannot expect God to excuse our sin, nor can we expect Him to receive sin into His presence.  Understanding this truth reveals to us our great need…. Forgiveness and cleansing of our sin; for without these we cannot be accepted by God.
(2) “and in him is no darkness at all.”  But praise Him for the second part of His message.  In God there is no darkness.  Jesus, as the Son of God was not touched by sin (Heb 4:14-15).  Since He was without sin He was able to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sins on the cross. (2 Cor 5:18-21)

This is what the ministry of Christ was all about (in summarized form of course!)  This is, perhaps the most important message to come out of all that Christ said and did… the Holy God sent His sinless Son to the earth as God/man so that He might take the sins of His people upon Himself.  In doing so, Christ made reconciliation for His people, working both forgiveness and cleansing of their sins, and thereby obtaining their acceptance by His Father.

Now that John has given to us a very brief summary of the ministry of Christ, he proceeds to apply these truths to our condition as fallen mankind…
Here is where we see the word “if” come into play.  Over the next several verses, John will be comparing the characteristics of a lost individual with the characteristics of those who have been saved through the work of Christ.  John’s hope?  We will examine our lives for these characteristics which will reveal to us our spiritual condition.
If after the comparison, we see that we possess the characteristics of those who are saved, then this will add to our assurance of salvation and encourage our hearts in His service.  But, if we see that we have never experienced God’s gracious salvation, then by His grace, we can turn to Him and trust in Him as our Savior while submitting to Him as Lord of our life.

(Note: In these verses John, as a saved man, use the phrase “we” when describing both lost and saved individuals.  Why does he seem to include himself with those who are lost?  In this entire discourse John is speaking as a part of fallen mankind.  Both saved and lost are a part of fallen mankind.  He is expressing that he is no better than anyone else to whom he is speaking.  He was a sinner just like those to whom he is speaking.  This is a very important point not to be overlooked.  One of the most important aspects to our witnessing to the lost is using a humble spirit realizing that, in times past, we all were lost and in need of Christ.  If it were not for His grace we would still be spiritually blind and dead in our sins.  John expresses his part in fallen mankind by using “we” when speaking of the lost.

Also, keep in mind that John also shared his physical lineage with those to whom he was writing.  Both John, and his readers, were physical Jew.  Once again he is emphasizing that he was on the same level as his readers and of like physical lineage.  All of this is a part of humbly ministering to others recognizing our many similarities with them)

(6)  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  (7)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 
Verse 6 – The Characteristics of the lost.  How do we know he is speaking of the lost?  He describes them as “walking in darkness”.  This is clearly a lost individual.
A person who is lost will:
(1)  Claim they have a relationship with God but their thoughts, motives, speech and/or actions will clearly show they are still living their lives ruled by the powers of darkness. They are not following the instructions of the Word.
(2)  If this is the case, their claim of having a relationship with God is simply a lie.  This further reveals their true condition as one that is lost and separated from God’s grace.

Verse 7 – The characteristics of the saved.  How do we know that John we speaking of the saved?  He describes these as “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
A saved person will:
(1)  Walk in the light as He is in the light – our thoughts, motives, speech and actions will be in alignment with His life.  As disciples of Christ we will be followers of Him.  Much like a child possess characteristics of their parents so, too, the children of God will walk in ways that exhibit the light of God to others.  This displays to us that we have been cleansed of our sins through the work of Christ.
(2)  We have fellowship one with another – we will share love, common life goals and communion with other believers.  This is another indication that our sins have been cleansed in Christ’s blood.

(8)  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
(9)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Verse 8 – The characteristics of those who are lost.  How do we know this is the group John is speaking of?  Notice his description of them…. “the truth is not in us”, this is clearly describing a lost individual.
A person who is lost will:
(1)  Say we have no sin – refuse to acknowledge the sin that is in their life.
(2) We deceive ourselves – although sin is very easily seen when we compare ourselves to the law in the Scriptures, we can deny that which is so very obvious.

Verse 9 – The characteristics of the saved.  How do we know it is the saved being talked about here?  They are said to be forgiven and cleansed.
A saved person will:
(1) If we confess our sins – Biblical, consistent, confession of sins is a mark of those who are truly saved.

  1. A saint recognizes that sin creeps into their life and despises it.  Therefore, they deal with that sin at its appearance.  They agree with God about its nature and forsake it swiftly, hating every aspect of it.  Sin is a “big deal” for one that is genuinely born again.  This is the essence of Biblical confession.
  2. These characteristics are only seen in the lives of those who are forgiven and cleansed of their sin.

(10)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

Verse 10 – John, once again, speaks to the lost.  How do we know?  They are described as “make him a liar” and “the Word is not in us”.  Once again CLEARLY a lost individual is at hand.
A lost person will:
(1)  Not recognize their spiritual need.  They claim that Christ’s work is not needed for they are right before God based upon their own holiness.  They are good and have found righteousness in and of themselves (their works or inherit righteousness etc etc ).
(2)  To make the claim of self-righteousness goes against many clear declarations of Scripture. (Rom 3:22-24, Rom 2:1-16, Eccl 7:20, Gal 3:22 etc etc)  In essence, they are saying that God has lied to us in His Word.   It proves the Word of God has not been applied to their hearts and minds. (2 Cor 3:3)

(2:1)  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
John now tells us that he has explained these truths to the saved so that:
(1)   they will be reminded of the grace of God given to them.  Then they will use this as a motivation to lives holy lives in appreciation for all He has done for them.
(2) he also tells the saints these things to remind them that as we see sin creep into our lives, that Christ is a continual “advocate” for us.   In other words, when we recognize sin in our lives we should not feel as if we are in a hopeless condition, nor that we have “lost” our salvation.   He is there as our “defense counsel” using as our defense His shed blood on the cross.  He paid for our sins past, present and future.  When a Christian sins it is not “all hope is lost”.  We are to deal with them through Scriptural confession and continual to serve Him.

(2)  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
John continues to explain Christ’s work on behalf of the saved.  He is our “propitiation” – He is the One that makes us favorable in God’s sight.  This is done through the covering of our sins.
John, a physical Jew, was writing to Jews in this letter.  One of the Jews most notable Old Testament beliefs was that Gentiles would not be included as Jehovah’s redeemed people.  This is shown to us by the separation of Israel as the nation of Jehovah (Lev 20:24-26) and the Gentiles exclusion from Jewish OT worship.  John writes to emphasize that Christ’s work on the cross was not simply for the Jew but for all the world (Jew, Gentile and Samaritan).   (Roms 1:16-17, Eph 2:11-22)  It is heretical to limit the work of Christ to any one, or a group, of physical nationalities or races of peoples.  John makes this plain.

PRACTICAL  APPLICATION:

To those who are saved:

In John’s review of the ministry of Christ, we have been reminded of His great grace that He has shown to us by forgiving our sins and making us (a part of sinful, fallen mankind) a part of His family.  This should motivate us to want to serve Him in greater ways and to deal with sin that may enter into our lives, through Scriptural confession.

To those who are not saved:
Our greatest need is for the forgiveness and the cleansing of our sins.  As we have seen from the teachings of John, Christ’s shed blood is the only covering that God has made available for the propitiation of our sins.  Through His intervention in our lives, we must recognize our sinful condition, forsake our sins, and then come to Jesus, with faith in Him, as our Savior and Lord.  By His grace He will secure the forgiveness and cleansing of which we have a desperate need.  Won’t you take time to examine your life and then trust in Him to make your eternal destiny sure?

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com
May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Making It Plain

SIH STSTA ICON“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)

In his book, we find Habakkuk watching over the invasion and soon defeat of the nation of Judah by the Babylonian Empire. In the context of Hab 2:2, Habakkuk is eagerly awaiting the receipt of a vision from the Lord which will reveal the spiritual needs of his nation, the purpose behind the Babylonian invasion, and the eventual judgment that will fall upon Babylon.

Before He gives the main part of the vision, the Lord explicitly tells Habakkuk to write down the vision in such a way that it is “made clear” to those who are willing to act upon the Divine message.

Folks, not only did Habakkuk have the responsibility to “make clear” the teachings of the Lord, but each one of us have the same grave responsibility as well. For anyone who preaches from a pulpit, teaches in a Sunday School class, writes in a blogging ministry or simply speaks to a neighbor about Christ…. we all should, from a heart of love and concern for our hearers, present the teachings of the Lord in a very clear, understandable way.

But sadly, in some cases, this is not being done today….
1. We find “teachers” of the Word not taking the time to study the subject they are teaching and not coming to an understanding of the subject, they simply parrot what others say as they attempt to “teach” on the subject.
2. We have those who are standing up and using vocabulary that is well above the level of most of their hearers motivated simply out of pride and arrogance, as they attempt to show others how much they know. By doing this they are leaving their hearers scratching their head and thinking themselves “stupid” and the Bible too difficult to understand.
3. And then there are those who proclaim what “they believe” without giving references from Scriptures to explain the basis of their beliefs. In these cases, they are expecting people to follow their teachings like dumb sheep, instead of coming to their own beliefs based upon the declaration of Scripture.
4. One of the most common failures taking place in Baptist church ministries is giving Bible verse references without taking the time to look at the verses. During the course of one 30 minute message, they may give out as many as FIFTY TO ONE HUNDRED scripture references without taking the time to look at, much less explain the meaning of even one of those verses.

Folks these things should not be so.

Let’s take a few moments to look at the Biblical mandate to teach others in an understandable way while relying on the Lord to open the hearts and minds of the people applying it to their lives.

THE SCRIPTURES:

4) And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, [and] Meshullam.
5) And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
6) And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with [their] faces to the ground.
7) Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people [stood] in their place.
8) So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.
(Nehemiah 8:4-8)

2) And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
(Habakkuk 2:2)

9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
(Luke 8:9-10)

23) And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening.
(Acts 28:23)

THE STUDY:

Not only does the Lord address the need to plainly teach His Word throughout the Holy Scriptures, but He personally addressed the subject during His ministry on the earth….

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:9-10)

In the context, our Lord is explaining to His disciples why He taught in parables. In this explanation, He shows us the two great necessities for the receipt of truth into the heart of any hearer…. a human necessity and a divine necessity.

In His response, the Lord says “Unto you it is given”. In other words, the receipt of truth is under the control of the Sovereign hand of God. He is the One that grants the ability for one “to know”, while yet another “Seeing they might not see and hearing they should not hear”.

NO MATTER HOW CLEARLY WE MAY PRESENT HIS WORD TO OTHERS… it will only be an act of divine grace for our hearers to come to an understanding and application of the truths we teach.

But to fully understand the teachings of Christ on this subject we need to continue looking at this text. Please remember, in the context the Lord is explaining His usage of “parables”. What is a “parable”? It is a common, every day, earthly event that is used to illustrate a divine truth.

In the context of Luke 8:, the parable was that of a sower sowing seed. Why would He use this common everyday picture during His time of teaching? We are told that one purpose was so that His hearers would “know the mysteries of the kingdom of God”. Through this common, every day, easily understandable example, Christ was able to make plain to His hearers some of the more difficult to understand truths (mysteries) concerning His kingdom. He was making these teachings clear to those who were graced to receive them, while making more responsible those who would not come to the truths of His teaching.

In this text, we have seen the necessities of GOD’S INTERVENTION AND A CLEARLY PRESENTED MESSAGE as the means by which truth is heard, understood and applied to the heart of man.

Now that we have seen one example of the teachings of Christ on this subject, let’s see more specific instructions and examples the Lord has given to His messengers …

In Nehemiah 8:5-8 we can see several elements to a Godly presentation of His Word…..

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;)   – Ezra CLEARLY showed the people he was about to present God’s Word, not his own thoughts to them.

and when he opened it, all the people stood up:  –  Ezra’s hearers had come to the meeting with in a spirit of humility and respect for the Word. They stood up as a show of unified reverence for the Word and for God, the One who authored it.

And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God.  –   Ezra “blessed” the Lord. The Hebrew word “blessed” is commonly translated “kneel” (a symbol of submission), “to thank” and “to praise” in the Old Testament. Ezra, before he began his message reminded the congregation that the spirit of:
1. submission to the Lord and His Word
2. thankful for the Lord’s blessings (especially His Word)
3. the need to glorify/praise Him by learning and applying His Word

By having this spirit, they would be “blessing” their God.

And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with [their] faces to the ground.  –  The people responded by proclaiming their agreement to and possessing the spirit Ezra had just presented to them.

Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people [stood] in their place.  –  Not only Ezra, but all those who spoke on that day presented the Word that produced an understanding in their hearts.
The word “understand” in Hebrew means to “be able to separate, distinguish or break into small pieces”. In other words, as they received the teachings from the Word, their mind could grasp them in such a way that they could break them down into small pieces and comprehend many of the small details of the teachings. In other words, they gained a thorough knowledge of the Word.

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [them] to understand the reading.
The process by which the Word was proclaimed was:
1. read distinctly – clearly or specifically explained the details
2. gave the sense – they presented it in a way that the people could prosper or gain from it. They gave practical applications to these truths as well as other implications for their lives.
3. caused to understand – By doing the above two, through God’s gracious intervention, the people came to receive the Word, grasp its meaning and seriousness, and apply it to their lives.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make [it] plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.   (Habakkuk 2:2)
As we saw in our introduction, this was the instructions given by the Lord Himself to the prophet Habakkuk concerning a vision Habakkuk was about to receive. What did the Lord mean by the phrase “make it plain”?

This phrase is translated from one Hebrew word that is defined as “to dig, or to engrave”. In those days they would engrave writing on a tablet of stone. Then they would rub a dark substance (lead) in the engravings to make them stand out against the light colored tablet. We can easily see the basic idea. The Word of God is to be presented in such a way that it “stands out” in a clear, plain way. Also by doing this, they would ensure that these writings would last for a long period of time….

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! (Job 19:23-24)

It is not presented in a muddled, confused, or uncertain way. By presenting the Word in this way, it sticks with the hearers and they remember and apply it. If it is presented in a confused, muddled way, due to a lack of understanding it is soon forgotten by the congregation.

23) And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into [his] lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and [out of] the prophets, from morning till evening.   (Acts 28:23)

Finally, in Acts 28:23 we find the example of Paul’s preaching to the “chief of the Jews”, who were the principle religious or political (or both) leaders of the Jews in Rome. We are told that Paul….
1. “expounded” – Paul exposed (clearly presented) the teachings of the kingdom to them. He revealed the teachings to them.
2. “testified” – He defended and personally witnessed of these truths. He reinforced and strengthened these truths against their questions and attacks.
3. “persuaded” – Through his teaching and defense of the truth he pacified their opposition and convinced them of these things.

How could he adequately teach and defend these truths against their attacks, eventually persuading them of these things? He persuaded them by using the Word, and having a thorough commitment, possessing a undoubting belief, and an understanding of the things that he was proclaiming.

THE SUMMARY:

May all of us, who are burdened by God to present His Word, take heed to fulfill His desires. Let us all seek to possess pure motives and exercise Biblical principles as we share His Word with others. This is the desire of my heart and the intent of every aspect of Settled In Heaven Ministries.

I am the first to admit that in my personal ministries, as well as in the SIH ministry, I fail in perfectly keeping and applying the principles we have looked at in this study. However, I can say with a pure heart that these principles are the main goals of my ministry and I seek to fulfill these things each and every time I share the Word with others. By God’s grace, and His grace alone, may the Lord enable me to continue to seek to fulfill these truths and mercifully grant me success in applying these truths in the year ahead..

I would like to close this posting with a thought that was presented to me by my Theology professor at Lexington Baptist College, Bro Jim Jeffries.

He said that…

“The only genuine proof of the thorough understanding of a Bible truth is the ability to teach that truth on a level that can be understood by all. The vocabulary that is used, and the difficulty of the subject that is taught are meaningless indicators of the knowledge and the ability of the speaker.”

I have never forgotten these statements and, over the years, I have seen the truthfulness of these statements proven time after time.  May the Lord grant to each one of His messengers the grace to learn, understand and clearly present His Truths so that we all can grow in grace and knowledge.

——————————————————————————————————–

ANNOUNCING TWO NEW SIH SATURDAY MINISTRIES:

Next Saturday, we will begin a new HALTAL (Here A Little There A Little) and a new TOTT (Think On These Things) series…

1. The new HALTAL series is entitled “Saturday Scripture”…. These postings will be giving us a verse to consider and pointing us back to past SIH postings that further explain the principle found in this verse. These past postings were made in the SIH infancy (first six months to one year), when there were very few followers and have received very few hits. Hopefully, for most of you they will be new material that you have not read.

2. The new TOTT series is an answer to three requests I have received over the past year. “Making It Plain” … will be a series of postings that will be giving simple definitions to theological terms that we may run across in our outside studies. Most of these terms will not be found in the Bible, but are used in Biblical reference works. I trust many of us will find this series helpful as we seek to study what other Godly men have written about the Word.

My prayer is that the Lord might continue to use SIH ministries for His honor and glory as we seek to share the Word in an understandable way with those who possess a desire to hear.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Do We Want To Be Smart?

Reverencing The LORD and His Word Is The Way To Start!

Proverbs 1:7 –   The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: …

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:5-9

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

The Blessings Found In Embracing Proverbs: Prov 1:5-9 

5) A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
6) To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
7) The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
8) My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
9) For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

INTRODUCTION:
After identifying himself and explaining his motives for writing Proverbs, Solomon now explains to us some of the blessings we will receive from a study and application of the truths found in this book.

EXPOSITION:
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
Anyone who places their attention on the teachings in Proverbs is a wise person.  Two benefits of their studies will be an increase in knowledge and a greater level of spiritual skill as they apply the proverbs to their life.

and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
A person who understands the benefits of a study of Proverbs will be willing to give of their time and effort to procure the wise advice that can be found within its pages.

To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
The wise advice in Proverbs can only be received when they are properly understood.  These proverbs are words that carry with them much wisdom, although they are much like a riddle that may be difficult to unravel. (Hebrews 5:14, 2 Peter 3:16)

The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge:
Like all parts of His Word, an attitude of great reverence for the Lord and His instructions is needed to begin a study of Proverbs.  By doing this, the purpose for man is fulfilled…
(Ecc 12:13)  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

[but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Because a fool does not value the Word, they count the Lord’s wisdom and instruction not worthy of pursuit.
(Joh 3:19)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
By the phrase “my son” Solomon could be speaking to his son, Rehoboam, (Matthew 1:7), but he was probably addressing those who were under his tutelage as being his “son” (1 Kings 4:29-34).  What was His advice?  He taught them to submit to the Godly teachings of those who are in authority over them.  Whether the advice of a parent, teacher, employer, or other authority; this principle can be applied in a wide variety of life areas.

This principle has special significance when applied to the teachings of God, the ultimate Authority over all:
1.  As Redeemer, our Lord holds a special type of authority over His people as the One who purchased them with His shed blood.  The Christian is His purchased possession, with Him as their ultimate authority (1 Pet 1:18-19, 1 Cor 6:20).
2.  As Creator, the Lord is the One who holds ultimate authority over all mankind (Rom 9:20-21).  He can do with His creation as He desires and creation is responsible to submit to His desires, no questions asked.

Because our Lord holds authority over all men, lost and saved alike, we are all responsible to hear, and not forsake, His teachings to us.  A portion of those teachings are found in the book of Proverbs.

For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
When authority holders speak Godly wisdom from a heart of love and concern, the application of their teachings will enhance the recipients’ appearance in the eyes of God and man, much like jewelry beautifies its wearers.

Why are their teachings described as ornaments of “grace”?  These instructions are not deserved by the hearers, but they are given through the grace of God; while resulting in more kind, gracious lives of those who apply these teachings to their lives. (Psalms 119:98-100, Proverbs 3:19-22)

SUMMARY:
Truly, heeding to the Word of the Lord of is great benefit that is given through His grace.  We should be motivated to expend great effort to learn and apply His Word to our lives out of obligation as well as out of a knowledge of the great benefits that they hold for each one of us.  Solomon, through the inspiration of Almighty God, penned the book of Proverbs as a guidebook for living Godly lives through the application of Godly knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Why Study Proverbs?

There Is So Much To Gain…

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;   To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. (Proverbs 1:2-4)

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:2-4

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7) 

The Purpose Behind Proverbs: Prov 1:2-4 

2) To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4) To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

 INTRODUCTION:

After identifying himself as the author of Proverbs, Solomon now continues by explaining the motivation for his writing of the book of Proverbs.

EXPOSITION:
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
Solomon desired to impart to the readers of Proverbs the three basic elements needed to live out the principles of God’s Word in our lives, as we seek to live for Him….

1. Instruction – warnings.  We will be instructed of God’s Word that encourages the avoidance of sin for our lives. This gives us knowledge of the truth
2. Understanding – discernment.  Once instructed, we will receive insight into purpose for our opposition to sin. This gives us a reason to follow the truth
3. Wisdom – skillful.  Our last step to application of the Word to our lives involves choosing to apply these truths to our walk of life. This is leading a lifestyle that follows the truth

These three can easily be pictured by a driver who approaches a stop sign….
He knows there is a law that says he must stop at the sign; this is instruction.
He is aware that stopping at the sign will avoid a collision with opposing traffic; this is understanding.
He puts on the brakes and stops; this is wisdom.

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim 3:16-17)
To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

Solomon also was motivated to give teachings that address our relations with others…
1. Wisdom  – educate – to teach others through our words and life.  This is setting the proper example.
2. Justice – impartial –  to treat others without prejudice, partiality or a judgmental spirit. This is possessing a right attitude.    
3. Judgment – fair verdict – to treat others fairly, give reasonable payment, to not defraud. This is being honest.
4. Equity – agreeable – to have agreeable spirit, to avoid quarrelling, to be humble.  This is being selfless.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matt 7:12)

 
To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Other benefits from the study of these proverbs are
1.  to impart to the simple (naïve) knowledge of  the subtlety (deceitful ways) of the world.  This is to avoid mistreatment at the hands of the world.
2.  to impart to the young man (child and adolescent) knowledge (truth) and discretion (to think in advance) This is the ability to recognize the future results of choices and actions.

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.  (Titus 2:6)

SUMMARY:
In Proverbs, we are given Divine guidance that develops our relationship with God and others while producing spiritual maturity in His people.  As we continue in this series, let’s keep in mind that Proverbs not only enhances our physical life but it will enhance our relationship with the Lord Himself.  What better reason could we have to diligently receive and apply these teachings to our lives?

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

A Great Book For Devotion Time…

Proverbs is filled with practical wisdom and divided into 31 chapters… one for each day of the month!

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel (Proverbs 1:1)

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 1:1

He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

 An Introduction To Our Study: Prov 1:1 

1) The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

INTRODUCTION:
To begin our series from the book of Proverbs, we’ll look at an introduction to this book found in Proverbs 1:1…

EXPOSITION:
King Solomon introduces himself, and the basic content of this book….

The proverbs of
In this book, we find a series of “proverbs”.  What is a proverb?  Throughout the Bible, a proverb refers to a short common statement that directly, or indirectly, reveals truth to the hearer/reader.  Some examples of Biblical proverbs that are found in books other than the Book of Proverbs are:

2 Pet 2:22 – “…The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Luke 4:23 – “… Physician, heal thyself:…”
Hab 2:6 – “…Woe to him that increaseth [that which is] not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
Ezek 12:22 – “…The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
Ezek 16:44 – “… As [is] the mother, [so is] her daughter.
Ezek 18:2 – “…The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?
Isa 14:4 – “… How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
1Sam 24:13 – “…Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked:…”
1Sam 10:12 – “… [Is] Saul also among the prophets?

By looking at this sampling of Biblical proverbs, we can see the shortness of the statements combined with the truths that are being presented by them.  His book contains a series of many, varied, short statements that will teach us Divine truths.  These truths are very practical, being designed to be applied to our day to day living.

Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
The third king of Israel, Solomon, is the author of the majority of the book of Proverbs.  But, perhaps, the final two chapters of this book were written by other men. The two possible authors are “Agur the son of Jakeh” (30:1) and “Lemuel” (31:1).  It is possible these names are referring to King Solomon…

1. “Agur the son of Jakeh” is translated from the Hebrew phrase “the one of the harvest, the son of the obedient one”, this title could apply to Solomon…
Solomon was “the one of the harvest” , he is the one that had gathered (or harvested) all of this wisdom throughout his lifetime and then compiled it into this book.
He was clearly the son of “the obedient one”, David, who was a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14).

2.  “Lemuel” is translated from two separate Hebrew words that mean “to, for, or upon ” and “El (the name of God)”.   Being the one separated “to God” and “for God” applies to Solomon in two very unique ways…
First, he was used by Jehovah in the building of the temple (2 Sam 7).
Secondly, he was the one who received, and then handed down, true wisdom in a variety of areas of life (1 Kings 4:29-34) … to rule His people (2 Chron 1:11-12), to explain the purpose of life (Ecclesiastes), and practical wisdom (Proverbs).

Whether these two titles actual refer to Solomon, or are the titles of two other authors of Proverbs, cannot be known with certainty.  But it is possible that Solomon was the author of the entire book of Proverbs.

SUMMARY:
The importance of the book of Proverbs, and this study, cannot be underestimated.  God raised up this man Solomon with a very important purpose, to be used to hand down God-given wisdom to mankind …

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that [is] on the sea shore.  And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.  For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.  And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.  And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that [is] in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.  1Kgs 4:29-34 (KJV)

By God’s grace, we have the privilege to study the writings of Solomon.  Our study will be centering on the truths of God that are designed to enhance both the quality and spiritual value of the lives of His people.  This is why the  giving of these proverbs is described as “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7).

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org
SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/
SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/
SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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