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Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICON
He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand,

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” (Isaiah 45:7)

“[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…” (Habakkuk 1:13)

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures. On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”. Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says “[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:” then, to add confusion to our subject, James states clearly that God “cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

In this series of lessons, we will be looking into two basic questions, first, “What Is God’s Role In The Existence of Evil ?” and, secondly, “What Is The Purpose Behind The Existence Of Evil ?”

THE STUDY:

Before we begin this portion of our study, let’s pick up with the summary from our last study (Lesson #1)…
1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness

So, in summary, “Evil” can describe an act, or the results of that act, and, in every case that it is used in the Bible, it is describing something that is harmful to man. In other words… Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”

We will now attempt to come to an understanding about the Sovereignty Of God….

Before we actually see the Bible teachings on the origin of evil, we need to lay a foundation of a few other basic truths about our Lord…

Our Lord Is In Control

One of the many attributes that is exclusive to our Lord, is the attribute of “absolute sovereignty”. To put it simply, “absolutely sovereignty” means that our Lord is in total control of all things. The Bible is very clear on this subject. So clear, as a matter of fact, I think it is important to simply let the Bible speak for itself as we read these verses and are in awe at His greatness on display:

The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (1 Samuel 2:6-7)

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? (2 Chronicles 20:5-6)

For the kingdom [is] the LORD’S: and he [is] the governor among the nations. (Psalms 22:28)

A Psalm of David. The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Psalms 24:1-2)

But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (Psalms 115:3)

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand: (Isaiah 14:24)

This [is] the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this [is] the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul [it]? and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back? (Isaiah 14:26-27)

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:34-35)

But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3)

From this sampling of verses we can see that the Biblical teaching of God’s absolute sovereignty is not an issue of the misinterpretation of a few select Bible passages. The truth of His control over all things is a subject clearly declared in many passages and is found in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.

Let’s imagine a world where the Lord is not in control of all things. Let’s imagine that Satan is not under the Lord’s control and, therefore, could thwart His workings among men. If that was the case….

1. When we pray to the Lord, we would have absolutely no confidence He is able to answer us. He may have every intent to fulfill our request but, Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s gracious workings on our behalf. The principle is this…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to believe He would, or could, answer any of our prayers.

2. When faced with trials and temptations, there would be no reason to look to Him for help. Again, He may intend on helping us, but Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s actions. This, in effect, would isolate us from the Lord’s presence and aid, and therefore leave us to stand alone to face Satan…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to rely upon Him in our times of need.

3. In the area of our lost loved ones, there would be absolutely no need to pray for them or even share the gospel with them. After all, if there is one thing we would be certain of, it would be that Satan would stop the Lord’s workings in the lost person’s sins hardened heart. Out of everything the Lord would try to do, Satan would certainly put the priority upon stopping a lost person from coming to Christ… If God is not in control, there is no reason to look to Him to save our lost loved ones.

4. Think of all the future promises our Lord has given us. Do we realize if He is not in control of all things, He is not to be relied upon to keep His promises? Think about it. The wonderful promises of an eternity with Him, rewards for faithfulness, an eternity separated from sin, the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies etc etc etc . Even the assurance of salvation can no longer be relied upon as certain, if Satan is able to overcome the plans and intents of the Lord… If God is not in control, there is no reason to have any assurance of future with Him.

But praise the Lord, we know that no one, not even Satan, can do anything that the Lord does not allow. One example of that is…

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:6-12)

And we have the assurance the Lord will have the ultimate victory over Satan, we can know this based upon the truth of His sovereignty over all, and His ability to perform the future prophecies found in the Word….

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41)

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

Based upon the indisputable fact the Lord is sovereign, we must come to the conclusion that the evil that takes place in the world around us is under His sovereign control. No evil takes place in this world that He does not allow….

the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have seen in our study so far….

We have attempted to come to a very basic understanding of the term “evil” as used in the Bible. We have come to see that:

1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9. Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”
10. Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11. It is because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in His enabling, His responses to our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies of future events
12. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance

In our next study, we will examine the holiness of the Lord and the source of evil in this world.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

For The Free Study Guide For This Series:  .pdf format    .docx format

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 22:1-4

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

 

Increasing Life’s Joy: Seeking To Honor Our Creator: Proverbs 22:1-4

1) A [good] name [is] rather to be chosen than great riches, [and] loving favour rather than silver and gold.
2) The rich and poor meet together: the LORD [is] the maker of them all.
3) A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
4) By humility [and] the fear of the LORD [are] riches, and honour, and life.

 

In this chapter, Solomon explains several factors that cultivate the experience of joy during our earthly life.

One of the greatest factors that increases our joy is the pursuit of honor for our Creator…

EXPOSITION:

1) A [good] name [is] rather to be chosen than great riches, [and] loving favour rather than silver and gold.  2) The rich and poor meet together: the LORD [is] the maker of them all.
1. A reputation that is pleasing and honoring to God, and desired by man, should be selected in the place of the overflowing, temporal, wealth  offered by the world.
2.  To show others mercy and kindness that beautifies our Lord should be selected over silver and gold that only exist temporarily.
3.  Both those who are wealthy, and those who have little, find common ground…
4.  They are both created by God, and as such, are under His authority.

Note the two basic principles….
Our lasting testimony is far more important than that of temporary, overflowing wealth and the things of supreme earthly worth that this world offers.   

When we understand this very important truth, we also come to an understanding that:
a.   those who are poor in this world can be very wealthy in the eyes of the Lord; likewise,
b.   those who are wealthy with the riches of this world, can be impoverished in the world to come.

How these truths change the way we look at this world, its benefits, and the people who are living in this world!

No matter how wealthy or how poor, we all will stand before our Creator and give an account for what we have done with our lives.

Regardless of the level of earthly wealth we may possess, we can be joyous knowing that we are striving to cultivate a testimony with which our Creator is pleased.  In doing so, we are accumulating eternal wealth that can never be taken from us.

 

3) A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
1.  A man who is discerning and wise will be able to recognize that which causes harm and, wisely, conceal himself from it.
2.  Those who do not understand the true nature of the evil, will continue on the path that intersects with the evil and harm.

A part of a Godly testimony involves recognizing that which is evil, discerning its future affects and then avoiding it.  For those who are naive and inexperienced in the ways of darkness,  they will be easily enticed and entrapped by them.

4) By humility [and] the fear of the LORD [are] riches, and honour, and life.
1. The two lynch pins of an honorable testimony are: a spirit of submission to the Lord and merciful kindness towards others; along with the proper respect for God and fear of His chastening hand.
2. Eternal spiritual wealth, glory, and communion with our Creator are the results.

When we humble ourselves before Christ in saving faith we are afforded and eternity with Him, when we then seek to honor Him with our lives, many rewards will await us.  Knowing these truths will bring great joy to our hearts and lives no matter what situations we may be facing in this life.

 

SUMMARY:

For the Christian, living a joyous life on earth is the direct result of placing Christ and His honor first in our lives.  When we choose to live our lives for Him, instead of living our lives for the wealth of this world, we can joyously expect living among His blessings while we are on the earth and in the life to come.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:27-31

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

 

Practical Life Principles: The Vanity Of Wickedness: Proverbs 21:27-31

27) The sacrifice of the wicked [is] abomination: how much more, [when] he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
28) A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
29) A wicked man hardeneth his face: but [as for] the upright, he directeth his way.
30) [There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
31) The horse [is] prepared against the day of battle: but safety [is] of the LORD.

 

This text emphasizes for us that living a life of wickedness yields no lasting value, only short-lived, fleshly, pleasure …

 

EXPOSITION:

27) The sacrifice of the wicked [is] abomination: how much more, [when] he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
1.  The moral acts of the man in rebellion against God is disgusting and abhorred by the Lord,
2.  how much more when he presents the moral act to God after making ungodly plans?

The righteous acts of the wicked are hated by God, especially when they are a part of the wicked man’s corrupt plans to find favor with the Lord.

 

Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.  To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them].  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.  16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;  17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.  18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”   (Isaiah 1:10-18)

 

 

28) A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.
1. A person who testifies untruthfully shall come to utter ruin
2. but the man that has a teachable spirit will choose his words with confidence of their truthfulness.

A person who lies will be ruined by his own speech while a man who is submitted to the Lord will carefully choose his words, making sure they are true and sincere.

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment.”   (Proverbs 12:19)

 

29) A wicked man hardeneth his face: but [as for] the upright, he directeth his way.
1.  An ungodly man shows his stubbornness in his appearance
2.  The upright man watches over his walk of life.

The man who is in rebellion against  the Lord, shows his stubbornness in both his appearance and walk of life, however, the just man guards his appearance and walk, making sure they are following the paths of God.

 

And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely.  O LORD, [are] not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, [but] they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.  Therefore I said, Surely these [are] poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, [nor] the judgment of their God.

 (Jeremiah 5:2-4)

 

 

30) [There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
There is no:
1.  wisdom – application of teachings to one’s life
2. understanding – discernment of the true nature of things
3. counsel – advice and plans
That can oppose and overcome the Ruler of All.

The Lord, being Sovereign God over all, cannot be overcome.  His wisdom, understanding, and counsel are perfect and far superior than any other in existence.

 

Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.  Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God [is] with us.”   (Isaiah 8:9-10)

 

 

31) The horse [is] prepared against the day of battle: but safety [is] of the LORD.
1.  Armour and weaponry is placed upon the horse to prepare for battle
2.  But true security and protection is only found in the Lord.

Although men can prepare for the battles they may face, it will do no good apart from the decrees of the Lord. The Lord, as Sovereign is in control of the battle and the results of that battle.  It is only based upon His decrees that any army can be victorious and protected.

 

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”   (Isaiah 31:1)

 

SUMMARY:

Every aspect of a wicked man’s life is of no lasting value, whether it be his actions, plans, preparations, thoughts, or desires.  It is only through submission to the Lord’s desires for us will we find lasting value and worth for 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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:23-26

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Selfishness Brings Harm To Others and Self: Proverbs 21:23-26

23) Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
24) Proud [and] haughty scorner [is] his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
25) The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
26) He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not. 

 

This text emphasizes for us that living a life of selfishness brings troubles and death…

 

EXPOSITION:

23) Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by unguarded speech…
The man who diligently guards speech will guard his life from distress and anxiety

Many times our ill-spoken words will harm others, which will create future problems for the speaker.

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. (James 3:2-13)

 

24) Proud [and] haughty scorner [is] his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by uncontrolled anger….
Those who are presumptuous and who arrogantly mock are known when they exhibit arrogant, out of control anger towards others.

When a person’s life is filled with uncontrolled anger, they are showing themselves to assume there will be no retribution for their actions.  This type of lifestyle and attitude makes a public mockery of the Word of God.

Better [is] the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: [and] the patient in spirit [is] better than the proud in spirit.  Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”   (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)

 

25) The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.  26) He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
A selfish lifestyle is revealed by laziness…
1.  The longings of the lazy will destroy him Because he abhors and rejects work.  The lazy will hungrily selfishly to satisfy his flesh all day.
2.  Those who are in alignment with the desires of God will give of himself to help others and will not hold back.

When a person is not willing to work to meet their own needs and the needs of their family, they are headed for sure ruin.  They live a totally selfish existence, while the Godly man will work and then share his gain freely with others who possess legitimate needs.

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;  And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, [and] nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, [and] considered [it] well: I looked upon [it, and] received instruction.  [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:  So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”   (Proverbs 24:30-34)

SUMMARY:

Living a life of selfishness is revealed by unguarded speech, uncontrolled anger and laziness.   It results in a variety of troubles for both the lazy person and those who come in contact with them.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:19-22

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Godly Desires Reap Peace: Proverbs 21:19-22

19) [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

20) [There is] treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

21) He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

22) A wise [man] scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

 

The Lord, through King Solomon, expounds the value of Godly desires is found in a contented life.

 

EXPOSITION:

19) [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

It is beneficial and pleasing to the Lord to settle down in the wilderness rather than to settle down with a spiteful, mean woman who desires to quarrel.

Keep in mind, this basic principle applies to both sexes.  Far better to live alone with the barest of essentials than to live with someone who loves to stirs up strife.

My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.  I [am for] peace: but when I speak, they [are] for war.” 

 (Psalms 120:6-7)

20) [There is] treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

1.  In the house of the wise we can find both riches and necessities of living

2.  A foolish man will devour and ruin the things of genuine value, so that none of them can be found in their dwelling.

A wise man seeks after, holds onto and multiplies that which is truly important in life…. The things of God.  In comparison, the fool wastes and destroys Godly things while seeking to hoard the earthly riches that hold no eternal value.

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed [is] the man [that] feareth the LORD, [that] delighteth greatly in his commandments.  His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.  Wealth and riches [shall be] in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.”   (Psalms 112:1-3)

21) He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

The person that eagerly seeks to be submissive to the Lord’s will and show humble kindness to others, will also possess life, acceptance by God and the high opinion of others.

Marks of those who possess eternal life, the righteousness of Christ, and a Godly testimony are those whose desires center upon living a God pleasing life and serving others who are in need.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things serveth Christ [is] acceptable to God, and approved of men.  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”   (Romans 14:17-19)

22) A wise [man] scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

1.  A person who applies God’s Word to their life can ascend the walls of the dwellings of the champion

2.  and brings to ruin the abilities of those who rely upon themselves.

Through Christ, His people are given the ultimate victory and the ability to be overcomers in any situation that may come their way during their walk on this sinful earth.

Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty [men] which are in the city.”   (Ecclesiastes 7:19)

SUMMARY:

When God’s people actively pursue the things of God their life will be filled with the peace of God and spiritual victories.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:15-18

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Sin Brings Misery (4): Proverbs 21:15-18

15) [It is] joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.

16) The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

17) He that loveth pleasure [shall be] a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

18) The wicked [shall be] a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright. 

 

Solomon continues to emphasize the end result of sin in our lives…. misery

 

EXPOSITION:

15) [It is] joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.

Sin results in terror and ruin…

1.  For those who seek to submit to the laws of God, to treat others properly and fairly brings great gladness.

2.  For those who habitually practice lawlessness, instead of joy, only terror and ruin await them.

For those who desire to obey the Lord, when they treat others as they should, it gives them great joy knowing they are fulfilling God’s will for their lives.  But those whose lifestyle is one of abuse and selfishness, they will miss out on many temporal blessings and will face eternal destruction at the hands of a just God.

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed [is] the man [that] feareth the LORD, [that] delighteth greatly in his commandments.”   (Psalms 112:1)

 

16) The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

Consistent foolishness is an outward symptom of inward spiritual death…

When a man continues to stagger apart from the path of spiritual discernment, he will continue to be spiritually blinded and dead.

It is only when a man gains spiritual discernment, seeing his spiritual need that he will come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

 (2 Peter 2:21-22)

 

17) He that loveth pleasure [shall be] a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

Living life for worldly pleasures will bring to poverty…

1.  The person that places their affections upon satisfying their fleshly desires will find themselves spiritually wanting and impoverished

2.  The person that places their affections on the possessing wine and oil will not be spiritually prosperous.

When a person lives their lives in the pursuit of fleshly fulfillment and worldly pleasures and luxuries, they will not benefit spiritually, but will find themselves spiritually destitute.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”   (Luke 15:13-16)

 

18) The wicked [shall be] a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

Sin results in retribution in like kind…

1.  The lawless man shall be the price of redemption for the lawful.

2.  The deceitful, who “step across the line” (go beyond the limits God has set for them), will become a ransom for those who are in alignment with the desires of God for their lives.

(This verse is teaching us that many times, the wicked will receive the punishment that they had intended for the righteous.  In other words, the wicked are punished with the same ill-treatment they have shown to the righteous. Note the example of Haman who, when he was hung on the gallows meant for Mordecai, became the ransom for Mordecai. (Esther 7:9-10).   Also, the accusers of Daniel who were cast in the den of lions, replacing Daniel Dan 6:23-24)

The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.”   (Proverbs 11:8)

SUMMARY:

The miseries that come from sin our lives include:

1.  When we are lax in our spiritual responsibilities, we can expect to face spiritual loss and discontentment.

2.  Anyone seeking earthly riches through the use of deceit, is pursuing that which will bring loss and ruin to himself.

3.  When the wicked choose to ignore the testimony of their conscience, they will be brought to ruin and uselessness.

4.  The nature of the wicked leads them to perform acts that are detested by God and man.

5.  An argumentative, critical attitude hinders intimacy with others by taking away joy and other benefits of fellowship and intimacy.

6.  A lifestyle that pursues sin will cause others to look upon us as hateful, merciless and harmful.

7.  When truth is rejected, it results in judgment at the hands of the Lord, the Author of all truth.

8.  God will dominate and ruin the wicked because of their rebellious lifestyle.

9.  He who refuses to hear the pleas for help from those who are in need, will find his pleas for help ignored.

10. Anger, when not treated with an attitude of grace, will allow anger and a hot, flaring temper to continue.

11. Sin results in terror and ruin

12. Consistent foolishness is an outward symptom of inward spiritual death

13. Living life for worldly pleasures will bring to poverty

14. Sin results in retribution in like kind

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:10-14

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Sin Brings Misery (3): Proverbs 21:10-14

10) The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
11) When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
12) The righteous [man] wisely considereth the house of the wicked: [but God] overthroweth the wicked for [their] wickedness.
13) Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
14) A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

Solomon continues to emphasize the end result of sin in our lives…. misery

 

EXPOSITION:

10) The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
1.  The life of those who are immoral and corrupt long for and pursue wickedness as a lifestyle
2.  The wicked man’s lifestyle of pursuing wickedness will eventually harm his neighbours.  This causes his neighbours to see him as undesirable, unkind and unwanted.

A lifestyle that pursues sin will cause others to look upon us as hateful, merciless and harmful.

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.  Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.  Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue.  God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.”   (Psalms 52:2-5)

 

11) When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
1.  When those who mock the truth face a penalty, those who are naive will learn to take God’s truth seriously.
2.  When those who are wise are taught the truth, they will hear it, acknowledge it, and cling to it.

The proclamation of truth affects both the wise and the foolish.  When rejected, it results in judgment; when accepted, it results in enhanced knowledge, this leads to greter understanding and, when applied, results in increased wisdom.

But God shall shoot at them [with] an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.  So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.  And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.  The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.”   (Psalms 64:7-10)

12) The righteous [man] wisely considereth the house of the wicked: [but God] overthroweth the wicked for [their] wickedness.
1.  Those whose life is lived in a God pleasing way, will be guided by the Word, as they reflect on the plight of the wicked.
2.   In comparison to the righteous’ attitude concerning the wicked, God will dominate and ruin the wicked because of their rebellious lifestyle.

This is implying that when the righteous consider the spiritual blindness of the wicked, and the eternal judgment that awaits the wicked, the righteous will show mercy and compassion towards the wicked.   They will not seek personal judgment against the wicked, but will rely upon the Lord to judge the wicked.

Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it].  I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he [was] not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.  Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.  But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.”   (Psalms 37:34-38)

 

13) Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
1.  He who refuses to hear the pleas for help from those who are in need…
2.  When he is in need will find his pleas ignored as well.

When a man, being driven by his selfishness, refuses to help those in need, they will not find help when their time of need arises.

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all [ye] workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you [yourselves] thrust out.”   (Luke 13:23-28)

 

14) A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
1.  When two parties disagree, a gift, when it is not given publicly, will cause anger to cease.
2.  A bribe, when it is given in an intimate way, will cause exceeding hot anger to be brought to peace.

It is an act of wisdom to attempt to appease an opponent’s anger by acts of kindness and grace on their behalf.  This includes “gifts” of any type whether it be kind and gracious, attitudes, words, acts or literal gifts given to them in secret.

(When a gift is given publicly, the opposition will feel public pressure to not cease from their anger.  If they do cease from anger, the public will accuse them of be selfish, unprincipled and weak.  That is why the need for secrecy is stressed in this proverb.)

Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts.”  (Proverbs 19:6)

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:  For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.”   (Proverbs 25:21-22)

SUMMARY:

The miseries that come from sin our lives include:
1.  When we are lax in our spiritual responsibilities, we can expect to face spiritual loss and discontentment.
2.  Anyone seeking earthly riches through the use of deceit, is pursuing that which will bring loss and ruin to himself.
3.  When the wicked choose to ignore the testimony of their conscience, they will be brought to ruin and uselessness.
4.  The nature of the wicked leads them to perform acts that are detested by God and man.
5.  An argumentative, critical attitude hinders intimacy with others by taking away joy and other benefits of fellowship and intimacy.
6.  A lifestyle that pursues sin will cause others to look upon us as hateful, merciless and harmful.
7.  When truth is rejected, it results in judgment at the hands of the Lord, the Author of all truth.
8.  God will dominate and ruin the wicked because of their rebellious lifestyle.
9.  He who refuses to hear the pleas for help from those who are in need, will find his pleas for help ignored.
10. Anger, when not treated with an attitude of grace, will allow anger and a hot, flaring temper to continue.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:7-9

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Sin Brings Misery (2): Proverbs 21:7-9

7) The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8) The way of man [is] froward and strange: but [as for] the pure, his work [is] right.
9) [It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

Solomon continues to emphasize the end result of sin in our lives…. misery

EXPOSITION:

7) The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
1.  The violence inflicted upon the innocent by the wicked will chew (guilt), and then consume (ruin), the wicked.
2.  They are brought to ruin because they ignore their guilt and, stubbornly, oppose treating others justly.

When the wicked choose to follow a path of harm to others, motivated by self-gain and ignoring the testimony of their conscience, they will be brought to ruin and uselessness.

The LORD is known [by] the judgment [which] he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.”   (Psalms 9:16)

8) The way of man [is] froward and strange: but [as for] the pure, his work [is] right.
1.  The nature of fallen mankind is to be twisted and detestable.
2. The nature of those cleansed by God is to have actions that are aligned with God’s law and pleasant.

The nature of the wicked leads them to pervert the law of God and to perform acts that are detested by  both God and man.  The saved, because they have received a new nature, are able to live according to God’s laws which make their actions pleasing to both God and man.

What [is] man, that he should be clean? and [he which is] born of a woman, that he should be righteous?  Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.  How much more abominable and filthy [is] man, which drinketh iniquity like water?”   (Job 15:14-16)

9) [It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
1. There is more value in permanently living in the angle of the roof (attic) of a house, alone than to…
2. live with someone who is a contentious, overly critical, and argumentative.

Fallen mankind is bent towards negative, faultfinding attitudes and the desire for conflict.   This argumentative, critical, attitude hinders intimacy with others by taking away the joy and benefits of fellowship and intimacy.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,”   (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

SUMMARY:

The miseries that come from sin our lives include:

1.  When we are lax in our spiritual responsibilities, we can expect to face spiritual loss and discontentment.
2.  Anyone seeking earthly riches through the use of deceit, is pursuing that which will bring loss and ruin to himself.
3.  When the wicked choose to ignore the testimony of their conscience, they will be brought to ruin and uselessness.
4.  The nature of the wicked leads them to perform acts that are detested by God and man.
5.  An argumentative, critical attitude hinders intimacy with others by taking away joy and other benefits of fellowship and intimacy.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:4-6

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

 

Practical Life Principles: Sin Brings Misery (1): Proverbs 21:4-6

4) An high look, and a proud heart, [and] the plowing of the wicked, [is] sin.
5) The thoughts of the diligent [tend] only to plenteousness; but of every one [that is] hasty only to want.
6) The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

In the next two devotions we will be seeing Solomon now emphasizes the end result of sin in our lives…. misery

 

EXPOSITION:

4) An high look, and a proud heart, [and] the plowing of the wicked, [is] sin.

Before Solomon centers our attention on the misery that sin brings into our life, he shares with us a practical definition of sin.
1.  Three basic indications of sin being present in our lives are…
a.  A “high look” – looking “over and beyond others”, thinking there is nothing to gain by paying attention to them.  Basically, this is an attitude of SUPREMACY shown outwardly in our actions.
b.  A “proud heart” – a “roomy, open heart”, desires that allow anything to enter into them.  This shows an attitude of inward PRIDE, believing nothing is off limits.  We do not guard against sinful desires, nor temptations, thinking we know what is best for our own lives and above the law and judgment of God.
c.  The “plowing of the wicked” – how can it be that the simple act of a wicked man plowing his field can be an indication of sin being present?  This is based on a very simple, yet for many, an unrealized Biblical principle explained in detail in the following passages:

Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me?  And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat [for yourselves], and drink [for yourselves]?”   (Zechariah 7:5-6)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”   (Colossians 3:17)

And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”   (Colossians 3:23)

All of the above texts teach us that, anytime we perform ANY action that is not done from a heart of faith, motivated out of a desire to honor the Lord, and experiencing thankfulness for all He has done for us…. it is sin.

In Solomon’s example of the plowing of the wicked, the idea is this:
a. the wicked man, as he plows, is not thankful for the life and health God has given to him that enables him to plow the field.
b. the wicked man, as he plows, is not trusting the Lord to give him a fruitful crop in the coming harvest season
c. the wicked man, as he plows, is not recognizing the ground he is working in as a marvelous creation of God, recognizing God’s wisdom and strength.
d.  the wicked man, as he plows, is not doing it as an act of obedience and honor to the Lord.  He is doing it entirely for selfish reasons.

This list can go on and on.

This is a very important principle for the Christian as well…

ANYTIME we engage in an earthly activity without a heart COMPLETELY FILLED with a spirit thankfulness to God, love for God, submission to God, and recognition of God’s glory, while excluding all selfish motives, we are committing sin.   This is a very sobering truth and should make any Christian who believes they are living a sinless life think twice about their beliefs. (Romans 7:16-25)

So to summarize the marks of a sinful act, it is an act that is performed:
1.  with an attitude of supremacy over others, or
2.  with an attitude of pride believing they do not answer to God,
3.  with no recognition of the Lord, His blessings, and no desire to honor and glorify Him for those blessings.

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God]: God [is] not in all his thoughts.”   (Psalms 10:4)

 

5) The thoughts of the diligent [tend] only to plenteousness; but of every one [that is] hasty only to want.

Now Solomon turns our attention to the misery brought upon us by our sin…
1.  Those who are faithful to their responsibilities will experience success in their endeavors.
2.  Those who quickly, carelessly, aimlessly deal with their responsibilities will only suffer want.

This principle is easily applied to the spiritual things of the Lord.  When we are faithfully submissive to the will of God and diligently seek to serve Him, we will find His blessings rained upon us.  When we are lax in those same responsibilities, we can expect to face spiritual loss and discontentment.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;  That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.”    (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

 

6) The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

1.  When earthy riches are acquired with the use of deceiving speech it is
a.  a worthless action “carries no weight” with the Lord.  It is like any light, insignificant object that is easily blown by the wind (examples: dust, a feather, a dead leaf, etc etc).
b.  a pursuit that leads to death.  Anyone seeking earthly riches through the use of deceit, is pursuing that which will bring death to himself.   For those who are lost, they will bring eternal spiritual death.  For those who are saved pursuing these things brings death to their testimony and usefulness for Christ.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”   (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

 

SUMMARY:

The miseries that come from sin our lives include:
1.  When we are lax in our spiritual responsibilities, we can expect to face spiritual loss and discontentment.
2.  Anyone seeking earthly riches through the use of deceit, is pursuing that which will bring loss and ruin to himself.

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

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:1-3

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

Practical Life Principles: The Lord Is In Control: Proverbs 21:1-3

1) The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
2) Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
3) To do justice and judgment [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

In this chapter, Solomon reminds us of several practical life principles that we use in our day to day walk with the Lord.

EXPOSITION:

1) The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Life Principle 1:  The Lord is in control of those in authority.
1.  Those who are in authority are controlled by the very hand of Jehovah, much He is in control of the mighty rivers that flow and rise according to His good pleasure.
2.  The Lord is able to bend the authority’s desires, motives and thoughts in any way He pleases.

Normally, we think of animal and inanimate nature under the Lord’s control, but we hestitate to think that men are controlled as well.  Here we find that Solomon described the Lord’s control over nature as being very similar to the type and degree of control He exercises over mankind as well.  In other words, the Lord sovereignly reigns equally over all His creation.

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

2) Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

Life Principle 2: The Lord knows our heart and mind better than ourselves.
1.  Every path that a man chooses to take, he, pridefully, believes is the correct path.
2.  However, the Lord not only analyzes our actions but our heart as well.

When we rely upon ourselves for leadership in decision making, we are relying upon a fallen, sinful, imperfect being.  Therefore many times we can actually fool ourselves and make incorrect life decisions.  However, the Lord cannot be fooled.  He sees the true nature of the actions and our heart (desires and thoughts) which reveals the motivations behind that action.

The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, [and] according to the fruit of his doings.

(Jeremiah 17:9-10)

3) To do justice and judgment [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Life Principle 3: The Lord is the final, ultimate Judge to which we must answer.
1. To do moral acts of fairness and mercy is desired by Jehovah over the giving of public offerings.

To live in submission to the Lord’s desires, by treating others morally and fairly, is chosen by God over the outward motions of worship when the heart is not in submission to Him.  In the end, He is the One to whom we must answer and He is the One for whom we are to live.

To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.  When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them].  And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.  Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”   (Isaiah 1:11-17)

SUMMARY:

One of the great life principles by which we are to live is found in the knowledge that the Lord is in absolute control of all things.  This control is shown to man in many different ways, three of which are: His control over the authorities of this world; His knowledge of the thoughts and intents of the heart; His role as the final, Ultimate Judge over all mankind.

May we all keep these principles in mind, to help us select the path(s) we are to take during our walk on this earth.

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