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Philippians 3:2-3 “Examine The Wicked And Our Own Lives”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

 

Php 3:2-3 – “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul begins to warn the Philippians of those who would oppose the truths of God’s Word. In doing so, he repeatedly used the term “beware”.

This word comes from a Greek word that means “to look at” or “to perceive”. When using this term, Paul is encouraging the Philippians believers to closely examine these groups and perceive the great harm they were doing to the cause of Christ.

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

 

Paul warns the church at Philippi of three groups of people who opposed the cause of Christ…

1. “dogs” – false professors, hypocritical worshippers of Jehovah who were looked upon as spiritually unclean and rejected from genuine worship of the Lord (Mat 7:6, 2 Pet 2:22)

2. “evil workers” – those who were outwardly, blatantly wicked. Those we were proud of their sins calling evil good and good evil. (Isa 5:20, Luke 16:15, 2 Pet 2:18-19)

3. “concision” – “to cut down” or “to cut off”. This speaks of the physical Jews who were relying upon their physical circumcision as one necessity for salvation (Acts 15:1, Gals 5:2)

To this day, all three of these groups do great harm to the cause of Christ.

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Paul now identifies himself and other true followers of Christ as “the circumcision”, not “the concision. In other words, Paul places the emphasis, not on his physical Jewish lineage, but his spiritual lineage as a member of the nation of God’s chosen people (Gals 3:7, Rom 9:6-8).

In comparison to the groups of lost individuals described in the prior verse, genuine Christians as those who…

1. “worship God in the spirit” or “worship God by the Spirit’ – true believers worship God sincerely, they worship God based upon the intervention of the indwelling Holy Spirit during their times of worship.

2. “rejoice in Christ Jesus” – their boasting, rejoicing and peace all stem from their recognition of Christ’s work on their behalf and their security that they possess through Christ.

3. “have no confidence in the flesh” – Because true believers recognize salvation is by Christ and Him alone. They do not rely on any aspect of their own works realizing their entire being is tainted by sin and unable to produce anything work that is pleasing to the Lord.

This is why true believers understand that they can place NO CONFIDENCE in any aspect of their sinful flesh, but must place their entire confidence in Christ and His work.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all “be on the lookout” for the false professors, the blatantly wicked and those who rely upon human lineage or works to attain salvation from Christ. May we see that all of these do tremendous harm to the cause of Christ.

May we also examine our lives to be sure that we see the fruits of a genuine salvation experience. These include a sincere worship of the Lord based upon His enabling in our lives; all of our boasting based upon Christ and His work on our behalf; and not relying on any aspect of our own works realizing our entire being is affected by sin.

When we see these attitudes prevailing in our lives, we can have a greater assurance that we are genuinely saved and eternally secure in Christ.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Philippians 1:21-24: “For Me To Live Is Christ”

 

INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:

Background to Philippians…

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).

Some of the main divisions of the book include:

1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2

2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11

3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26

4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18

5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30

6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11

7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21

8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9

9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20

10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23

 

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

 

Php 1:21-24 KJV – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Paul recognizes that he will be delivered from prison by release or his physical death (vs 19-20). He now stops and considers which type of deliverance would be more preferable for himself and others …

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

If Paul was released from prison, it would open up continuing opportunities for Christ to be glorified and served with his life. However, if Paul’s deliverance came about due to his death, he would be home with His Lord. His death would result in a better end for himself, but would be a loss for those around him.

 

But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

If Paul continues to live physically (“in the flesh”) he will reap eternal blessings as he continues to faithfully serve his Lord. In either situation, Paul will benefit. If he dies, he goes home to the Lord; if he lives, he will gain more eternal rewards for his service.

In spite of all this analysis of his death and life, and who gains and who might lose through it all, Paul affirms that all he wants is the will of God done with his life. It really it doesn’t matter what Paul wants… it is all about what His Lord wants.

 

 

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

Paul was in a very tight place caught between two options for his future. He was torn between his desires (death to be with his Lord) and what is good for others (release from prison to continue to spread the gospel of Christ.)

What was his conclusion to all of this? Lord, your will be done!

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Folks, how often in life do we face events that are out of our control, that will either fulfill our desires, or that will bring about what is best for others? For what are we to pray?

Paul helps us to understand that, when we are confronted with events that are not in our control, we are to simply submit to the Lord’s intervention and seek to be submissive to whatever the Lord has for us.

May we all be in submissive to the will of our Lord for our lives and follow his example as we pray about the upcoming events in our lives….

Luk 22:42 KJV – “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions?

Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

Homepage…  http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog…  http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog… http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 31:29-31

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: The Excellence Of A Godly Influential Woman: Proverbs 31:29-31

29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30) Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

 

EXPOSITION:

29) Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
1.  There is an abundance of female relatives that perform individual acts that influence others.
2.  But it is the virtuous woman who excels over others.

One of the great hallmarks of a truly virtuous woman is the performance of beneficial works for her family and those around her AS A WAY OF LIFE.  It is this attribute of the virtuous woman that causes her to be exalted above all other women who perform singular acts of kindness towards others.

S. A virtuous woman consistently works to benefit those to whom she comes into contact.

My dove, my undefiled is [but] one; she [is] the [only] one of her mother, she [is] the choice [one] of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; [yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.”  (Song of Solomon 6:9)

 

30) Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
1.  Acts of kindness can be used fraudulently and physical beauty has no long term benefits
2.  A woman who reverences the Lord is the one who shall be commended

Both random acts of kindness and physical beauty can be used selfishly to manipulate others.  Although they may work in the short term, neither will bring lasting, eternal benefits.  But when a woman properly reverences the Lord, and in doing so lives a virtuous life, she shall be honored by men and be the recipient of eternal rewards from the Lord.

T.  A virtuous woman will receive temporal honor from men and eternal rewards from the Lord for her consistently beneficial works among men.

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and

will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”   (1 Corinthians 4:5)

 

31) Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
1.  Give back to her in like kind as she has done for you.
2.  Allow her works to speak for themselves.  In doing so, they will bring honor and respect upon her from those in high position in the community.

The Godly woman’s works are proof of her life’s goal….
1.  Give herself to the service of the Lord by…
2.  using her God-given talents, gifts and calling to assist her family and others while…
3.  giving no thought to herself.

This is the ultimate goal that is given to all of us from the Lord, and it is wonderfully accomplished in the life of a virtuous woman…

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 22:37-40)

U.  The virtuous woman’s works will speak for themselves, bringing to her the honor of men and rewards of the Lord.

 

SUMMARY:

In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:
A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.
B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.
C.  A virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.
D.  A virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.
E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours of labor and oversight.
F.  A virtuous woman has the position of business owner and farmer exercising asset oversight and profitability
G.  A virtuous woman seeks to excel in every area of her life through self-improvement and preparation
H.  A virtuous woman shows she is diligent by making the most of every opportunity to be productive.
I.  A virtuous woman is humble: performing mundane tasks, setting the example, and instructing others.
J.  A virtuous woman is sacrificial, kind, charitable to the needy that may cross her path.
K.  The virtuous woman plans ahead to meet her family’s future needs.
L.  A virtuous woman can satisfy many of her desires through the use of her talents and abilities.
M.  A virtuous woman will possess a testimony that brings respect to her husband and family.
N.  A virtuous woman is faithful to the Lord in her professional calling and possession of a Christ-like testimony.
O.  A virtuous woman has a Godly testimony that influences others.
P.  A virtuous woman speaks beneficial words out of a heart of live, respect and a desire to help those in need.
Q.  A virtuous woman lives a live of service to meet the needs of her family
R.  A virtuous woman finds her greatest respect among those closest to her
S. A virtuous woman consistently works to benefit those to whom she comes into contact.
T.  A virtuous woman will receive honor from men and eternal rewards from the Lord for her works among men.
U.  The virtuous woman’s works will speak for themselves, bringing her the honor of men and rewards of the Lord.

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

This concludes our study from the book of Proverbs.  Thank you so much for taking part in our devotional series.   May the Lord give us grace to live out these principles in our everyday living.  May the Lord bless you.

Beginning January 2nd we will be posting devotions from the book of Ephesians with “Reflections of His grace” as the main theme of the devotionals.  

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 31:24-28

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: A Godly Influencial Woman Is Appreciated For Her Many Endeavors and Talents: Proverbs 31:24-28

24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25) Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness. 27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.  

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

EXPOSITION: 24) She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

A virtuous business woman:

1.  She creates quality wrappings and sells it

2.  and turns over bindings to the sellers.

 

Here we see some marks of a virtuous business woman are:

1.  creation of goods that are needed (and wanted) by others

2.  creation of goods of quality

3.  selling her goods to the public or to the merchants (making her goods available to those who need them)

4.  Bringing in a reasonable profit for the benefit of their family which is their first priority.

This example shows us clearly that being a Godly, virtuous woman is not limited to homemakers, but reach into the professional world as well.  Keep in mind, in it just like every area of Christian service… different Christians are called to different areas of service for Christ.  Some women are called into the field of business to be a Christ-like light in the midst of sin darkened business world.  Others are equally as virtuous in the fields of communication, medical, and homemaking…actually the list in unending.

The main point is this all CAN BE EQUALLY virtuous based upon their level of faithfulness to God’s calling and the Christ like testimony that they hold in the field to which they are called.  But in every case, the virtuous woman’s first responsibility is to her family, meeting their needs and raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

N.  A virtuous woman is faithful to the Lord in her professional calling and her possession of a Christ-like testimony.

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;”   (Romans 12:11)  

 

25) Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

A virtuous woman is influential…

1.  The ability to complete a given task and the respect given to her by others is the force behind her influence

2.  Her Godly influence will bring to her lasting joy and peace

A virtuous woman’s Godly testimony is a force of great influence among her family, friends and others who have the privilege of knowing her.  As they see her successful life of service to the Lord, it brings to her great respect and joy knowing her life is not lived in vain.

O.  A virtuous woman has a Godly testimony that influences others.

But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”  (1 Timothy 2:10)  

 

26) She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue [is] the law of kindness.

A virtuous woman possesses Godly speech…

1.  Her open mouth is a source of great wisdom

2.  Her tongue fulfills its responsibility to be kind, merciful and caring to others.

The speech and lifestyle of a virtuous woman is in alignment with the teachings of Paul…  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”  (Colossians 4:5-6)

P.  A virtuous woman speaks beneficial words out of a heart of live, respect and a desire to help those in need.

Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:  Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.  For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:  Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.  For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.”   (1 Peter 3:8-12)  

 

27) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

A virtuous woman’s first priority is the welfare of her family…

1.  She leans forward intently watching over the path taken by her family members

2.  She does not make wasting of time and opportunity a part of her life.

The virtuous woman is always busy meeting her family’s needs and never finds time to “lean on her shovel” wasting her life and opportunities of service set before her.

Q.  A virtuous woman lives a live of service to meet the needs of her family

Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.  But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;  Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.  And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.  For some are already turned aside after Satan.”  (1 Timothy 5:10-15)  

 

28) Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.

A virtuous woman finds her greatest respect among those closest to her:

1.  Her children stand in her honor

2.  Her children verbally speak good of her and desire the best for her

3.  Her husband joins the children in causing her to shine in the eyes of others through his speech and actions.

This is a very important point and a good place to stop our study for today.  A truly virtuous woman DESERVES all the praise, honor and respect that can be given to her.   Her family is obligated to give her these things.  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR A FAMILY TO TAKE A VIRTUOUS WOMAN FOR GRANTED, NOR TO DISRESPECT HER IN ANY WAY.

This applies to when the family is in public and also in the privacy of their home.  A Godly, virtuous woman is of unspeakable value and is to be treated as such at all times.

This applies as well to Godly men and Godly children. These are all very rare commodities in today’s society and desire the greatest amount of love and respect from those who are the closest to them. This principle applies to children as well. It is very important for GODLY PARENTS OR GODLY CHILDREN to be given the respect and honor that they deserve.  This begins by showing respect to one another in all public and private situations.  When a child complains about their Godly parents, or vice versa, in public or private, they are showing them great disrespect.  It is a matter of respect, love and loyalty to each other and the Lord.

Just a personal note on this…  I do count my wife as the most virtuous woman that I know.  We both observe an unspoken rule to NEVER speak ill of each other to others.  I can honestly say I have never complained,  nor “whined” to others about my wife.  (She makes this very easy for me to do, since there is nothing I have to complain about). To my knowledge, she has done the same for me as well. I trust her in this and I have been told by others “all she does is say good things about you” confirming my trust. I am only sharing this to say that it is possible to live this way as a habitual lifestyle and, actually, very easy to do when your spouse deserves such respect.

Over the years, I have seen the same thing from a variety of Godly couples. This is, normally but not always, those who are older couples who have learned over the years to appreciate their Godly spouses. Similarly I have seen Godly men, Godly women or Godly children whose family did not appreciate them, spoke against them in public, and brought them undeserved shame and embarrassment.  In my way of thinking, this is one of the most difficult situations to live under for a Godly person. To have your closest loved ones take you for granted and talk ill of your Godly living is a travesty.  It should bring sorrow to the heart of all those who are saved by God’s grace and understand the value of those who live virtuous lives for His glory.

R.  A virtuous woman finds her greatest respect among those closest to her Blessed [are] they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”   (Psalms 84:4)

SUMMARY: In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:

A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.

B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.

C.  A virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.

D.  A virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.

E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours of labor and oversight.

F.  A virtuous woman has the position of business owner and farmer exercising asset oversight and profitability

G.  A virtuous woman seeks to excel in every area of her life through self-improvement and preparation

H.  A virtuous woman shows she is diligent by making the most of every opportunity to be productive.

I.  A virtuous woman is humble: performing mundane tasks, setting the example, and instructing others.

J.  A virtuous woman is sacrificial, kind, charitable to the needy that may cross her path.

K.  The virtuous woman plans ahead to meet her family’s future needs.

L.  A virtuous woman can satisfy many of her desires through the use of her talents and abilities.

M.  A virtuous woman will possess a testimony that brings respect to her husband and family.

N.  A virtuous woman is faithful to the Lord in her professional calling and possession of a Christ-like testimony.

O.  A virtuous woman has a Godly testimony that influences others.

P.  A virtuous woman speaks beneficial words out of a heart of live, respect and a desire to help those in need.

Q.  A virtuous woman lives a live of service to meet the needs of her family

R.  A virtuous woman finds her greatest respect among those closest to her

 

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 31:21-23

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: A Godly Influencial Woman Brings Honor To Her Family: Proverbs 31:21-23

21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet.
22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple.
23) Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

 

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

EXPOSITION:

21) She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household [are] clothed with scarlet.
1.  She does not dread when snow comes
2.  She has prepared her family for bad weather with the finest of doubled garments

The virtuous woman does not simply give “lip service” to the meeting of her family’s needs, but looks ahead and prepares for her family’s needs before they take place.  By doing so, she can make the best possible preparations to meet her family’s needs.

K.  The virtuous woman plans ahead to meet her family’s future needs.

[As] he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, so [is] he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.”   (Proverbs 25:20)

 

22) She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing [is] silk and purple.
1.  She creates handmade woven coverings to decorate her house
2.  She also creates beautiful clothing of fine materials

She not only meets the needs of others, but she is able to satisfy many of her personal desires as well.  A virtuous woman is talented in decorating her home and creating her own fashions.   She is able to create that which is pleasing and satisfying to herself.

L.  A virtuous woman can satisfy many of her desires through the use of her talents and abilities.

The king’s daughter [is] all glorious within: her clothing [is] of wrought gold.”   (Psalms 45:13)

 

23) Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
1.  Her labors on her husband’s behalf brings honor to him from those who enter the city.  He is respected not only for his personal accomplishments but also for his wisdom in marrying such a woman as this.
2.  The honor and respect given to him results in him being given a place among the authority holders of the city.

A virtuous woman will enhance the respect and honor that is given to her husband.  She will show him to be wise and blessed having a wife such as her.  She will possess a testimony that will bring no embarrassment upon her husband or her family, but will only cause them to appreciate her for her faithfulness, support and assistance on their behalf.

M.  A virtuous woman will possess a testimony that brings respect to her husband and family.

A virtuous woman [is] a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed [is] as rottenness in his bones.”   (Proverbs 12:4)

SUMMARY:

In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:
A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.
B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.
C.  A virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.
D.  A virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.
E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours of labor and oversight.
F.  A virtuous woman has the position of business owner and farmer exercising asset oversight and profitability
G.  A virtuous woman seeks to excel in every area of her life through self-improvement and preparation
H.  A virtuous woman shows she is diligent by making the most of every opportunity to be productive.
I.  A virtuous woman is humble: performing mundane tasks, setting the example, and instructing others.
J.  A virtuous woman is sacrificial, kind, charitable to the needy that may cross her path.
K.  The virtuous woman plans ahead to meet her family’s future needs.
L.  A virtuous woman can satisfy many of her desires through the use of her talents and abilities.
M.  A virtuous woman will possess a testimony that brings respect to her husband and family.

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 31:17-20

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: The Strength And Kindness Of A Godly Influencial Woman: Proverbs 31:17-20

17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18) She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

EXPOSITION:

17) She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
1.  She belts upon her waist power and ability
2.  She fortifies her arms

A virtuous woman will always seek to improve herself by building up her weak areas.  She will not be content with mediocrity, but she always seeks to be prepared to accomplish whatever task is set before her.

G.  A virtuous woman seeks to excel in every area of her life through self-improvement and preparation

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”  (Ephesians 6:10)

 

18) She perceiveth that her merchandise [is] good: her candle goeth not out by night.
1.  She recognizes the work of her hands is of high quality
2.  She keeps the candle burning late into the night.

She is diligent, using every opportunity to be productive. She shows her diligence through honest self accessment and a hatred of laziness.  Because of her merchandise is of high quality and profitable, her candle can burn all night without her running out of oil.

H.  A virtuous woman shows she is diligent by making the most of every opportunity to be productive.

They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”   (Matthew 25:3-10)

 

19) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
1.  She uses her hand to turn the wheel of the spinning wheel
2.  She wraps the spun wool upon the rod she holds in her hands

In those days the spinning of wool into thread was a very laborious and monotonous task that was commonly performed by the servants of low degree.   A virtuous woman is humble doing tasks that many would say are “beneath her”.  She is very knowledgeable in all the tasks of the home and is able to set the example and instruct others on how to perform them.

I.  A virtuous woman is humble: willing to perform mundane tasks, setting the example, and instructing those under her authority.

And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, [both] of blue, and of purple, [and] of scarlet, and of fine linen.  And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats’ [hair].”  (Exodus 35:25-26)

 

20) She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
1.  She holds out her hand to help lift the discouraged and weak
2.  She reaches out an open hand to those needy and destitute.

Not only does a virtuous woman give sacrificially for the benefit of her husband and family, she also willingly gives on behalf of those who are hurting (emotionally, physically, financially).  She takes the time to notice those who have needs around her.  She evaluates their situation and then works to do what is necessary to help them in their time of need.

J.  A virtuous woman is sacrificial, kind, charitable to the needy that may cross her path.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”   (Acts 20:35)

 

SUMMARY:

In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:
A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.
B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.
C.  A virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.
D.  A virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.
E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours of labor and oversight.
F.  A virtuous woman has the position of business owner and farmer exercising asset oversight and profitability
G.  A virtuous woman seeks to excel in every area of her life through self-improvement and preparation
H.  A virtuous woman shows she is diligent by making the most of every opportunity to be productive.
I.  A virtuous woman is humble: performing mundane tasks, setting the example, and instructing others.
J.  A virtuous woman is sacrificial, kind, charitable to the needy that may cross her path.

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 31:13-16

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: A Godly Influencial Woman In The Business Of Her Family: Proverbs 31:13-16

13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14) She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

 

 King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

 

EXPOSITION:

13) She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
1.  The virtuous woman seeks out wool and linen thread
2.  She is willingly to manufactures her families’ needs from raw materials.

The virtuous woman must be adept with working with her hands to meet the needs of her family.  She is willing to physically labor to supply that which is necessary for her families existence and comfort.  In this case, it is making them quality clothing from the material and thread she has purchased.

C. The virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;”   (1 Thessalonians 4:11)

 

14) She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
1.  The virtuous woman is like the ships bringing the goods of merchants from afar.
2.  So too, she willingly travels to find the proper materials at the right price to meet her families needs.

The virtuous is knowledgeable in quality and value of the goods she purchases, as well as the location where they can be found.  She uses this knowledge to make purchases of high quality and value.

D.  The virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.

He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”   (Proverbs 18:9)

 

15) She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
1.  The virtuous woman awakens and begins her labor before sunrise
2.  She prepares the food for her family and others under her authority

The virtuous woman puts in long hours in the process of meeting the needs of her family.  She must be the first to awaken and the last to retire making sure her family’s needs are met from their arising to going to bed at night.

E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours in her pursuit to lovingly, sacrificially care for those under her watchcare.

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom [his] lord shall make ruler over his household, to give [them their] portion of meat in due season?”   (Luke 12:42)

 

 

16) She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
1.  She closely examines a field and purchases it
2.  With her personal labor she plants a vineyard

A virtuous woman enters into wise business transactions, and oversees the use of that which she owns.  She  invests of the families assets and her personal labor to bring benefits to be shared by all the family members.

F.  A virtuous woman holds the position of business owner and farmer entering into business transactions and exercising oversight of lands and laboring in fields assuring they bring lasting benefit to her family.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”  (Matthew 13:44)

 

SUMMARY:

In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:
A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.
B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.
C.  A virtuous woman plays the role of manufacturer for her family.
D.  A virtuous woman holds the position of purchaser for the family.
E.  A virtuous woman holds the position of manager/laborer working long hours of labor and oversight.
F.  A virtuous woman has the position of business owner and farmer exercising asset oversight, output and profitability

 

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 31:10-12

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: A Godly “Woman Of Influence”: Proverbs 31:10-12

10) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.
11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

 

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the preciousness and importance of Godly “virtuous” women.

What does “virtuous” mean?  This is a term that carries with it the idea of “force” or “influence”.  It is translated in the Bible as: “army”, “company”, “force”, “might”, “strength”, “valor”, among others.  The main thrust of this term is teaching us that this type of woman is a tremendous force for good in society.  Not only does she bring profit to herself and her family, but she is profitable to all those around her.  This is why she is described as “virtuous”.

 

EXPOSITION:

10) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.
1.  Who can locate a “woman of influence”?
2.  Her value excels precious stones (or pearls)

Here, we can see that a truly virtuous woman is a very rare in our world.  That is why she is said to be hard to find and of great value.

Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.”   (Ecclesiastes 7:28)

 

 

We now begin a list of the many qualities that can be found in this rare “woman of influence”…

11) The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
1.  Her husband willingly, confidently relies upon her (as steward of his family and possessions)
2.  so that he will have no need to forcibly take from take from others to meet his physical needs.

A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”  (Proverbs 31:27)

 

12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
1.  The virtuous woman will always be beneficial to her husband
2.  never bringing harm to his reputation, or his physical, mental or spiritual well-being.

B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.  She understands that by being supportive of her husband and family, she is being supportive of herself as well.

(Please note, this is not saying that she “puts up with” or keeps hidden abuse or mistreatment from her husband or family.  In actuality, by working to see the abuser is punished, she is working for their welfare.  In many cases, the conviction and punishment of an abuser brings to them recognition of their wrongdoing and need to change their ways.  Being a virtuous woman involves taking a course that leads to the ultimate good of her family no matter how difficult the course may be.)

Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched [corn], and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid [them] on asses.  And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.  And it was [so, as] she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.  Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this [fellow] hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that [pertained] unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.  So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that [pertain] to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”   (1 Samuel 25:18-22)

 

SUMMARY:

In a study, so far, these are the qualities that are possessed by a Godly “woman of influence”:
A.  A virtuous woman will faithfully care for her family and make certain their needs are supplied.
B.  A virtuous woman will always work for the benefit of her husband’s and family’s reputation and well-being.  She understands that by being supportive of her husband and family, she is being supportive of herself as well.

 

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 31:8-9

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: Defending the Defenseless: Proverbs 31:8-9

8) Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
9) Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

 King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the need to stand in defense of those who cannot defend themselves…

(this principle helps us to understand why one of greatest priorities of our nation should be the outlawing of abortions.  This is simply defending the right to life of babies who cannot speak nor act on their own behalf)

EXPOSITION:

8) Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
The need to defend those to the authorities that are over us…
We are to loosen our mouths and open them widely for those who cannot speak for themselves when they are waiting to be abolished.

Whenever we see those who are facing abuse, mistreatment and ruin, those who cannot speak for themselves, we are rescue them by presenting a loud defense on their behalf.  Standing up for the needy and innocent is a hallmark of our Lord’s loving, just, forgiving character.  Opportunities to defend the defenseless are opportunities for us to present our Lord to a lost and dying world …

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.  Wherefore should the heathen say, Where [is] their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight [by] the revenging of the blood of thy servants [which is] shed.  Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;  (Psalms 79:9-11)

 

9) Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
The need of those in authority to make just decisions in defense of the defenseless…
1.  We are to loosen our mouths and open them widely when rendering our decisions
2.  We are to clearly, directly present a defense for those who are lacking and humble

Those in authority are to always stand for those who are unable to defend themselves.  They are to stand for justice even though they will not be able to receive personal gain from those whom they acquit.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”    (John 7:24)

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.  I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.”   (1 Timothy 5:20-21)

SUMMARY:

We are to always look out for the rights and fair treatment of those who are unable to defend themselves.  Whether we hold positions of low authority, or whether we are the ones in authority deciding the issue at hand, we are to always make work for fair, truthful decisions that will work justice in the sight of all.

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 31:3-7

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

 

The Proverbs Of King Lemuel: Abstain From Fleshly Lusts: Proverbs 31:3-7

3) Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4) [It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
5) Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
6) Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7) Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

King Lemuel now turns our attention to advice, given from His mother, to help us understand the need to turn from the fulfillment of our fleshly lusts which can result in disaster for our lives…

EXPOSITION:

3) Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
The mother of Lemuel’s first piece of advice…
1.  Do not willingly hand over the sources of your power to women
2.  Do not willingly hand over your lifestyle to that which can bring down kings.

Here, Lemuel’s mother warns him of following his fleshly lusts causing him to reveal his weaknesses and thereby making him vulnerable to attack and defeat (physically or spiritually).

The account of Samson and Delilah is a good example of this idea (Judges 16:).  In this account we find Samson, seduced by the beauty of Delilah, telling her the secret of his great strength.  In doing so, he lost his strength, became a captive slave of his arch-rivals, and became a public display of shame and dishonor to the Lord.

When we submit to our sinful flesh, we open ourselves up to spiritual weakness and defeat as well as placing us upon the path of earthly ruin as well.  This is the main principle of for this piece of advice.

This principle continues to be presented in the following Godly counsel.  It now shifts our attention from sexual lust to lust involving the craving and overindulgence of alcohol…

4) [It is] not for kings, O Lemuel, [it is] not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
The need for great care to be used in partaking of alcohol…
1.  It is not for the good of kings to drink fermented wine (to the point of impeding decision making)
2.  It is not for the good of kings to drink fermented liquors (to the point of impeding decision making)

Keep in mind, the drinking of alcoholic beverages was very common in that day.  This is because it was the main beverage of the day.  In this passage, the simple consumption of alcohol is not being addressed… it is speaking of the drinking of alcohol to the point of impaired judgment.  We can see this from the following context…

5) Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Some results of over-indulgence of alcohol….
1.  lest they over-indulge and mislay the law of God
2.  lest they over-indulge and alter the proper decisions that were made to defend those who are the “child of misery”

When we allow our ability to make decisions become altered by an intoxicating substance, we will find ourselves misapplying the commands of God to the situation at hand.  In doing so, we will harm those who are innocent and in need of defense from abuse.

6) Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7) Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Here we find the use of an intoxicating beverage for a medicinal uses…
1.  hand over liquor to those that are awaiting death
2.  hand over intoxicating wine to those who are discontented, sorrowful and grieving
3.  through the moderate partaking of alcohol, he can have his spirits lightened and his attention no longer centered upon his misery.

Alcohol is has Godly medicinal value as a pain-killer and sedative to those who are dying as well as an anti-depressant to those who are facing great grief and sorrow.   Once again, we can see that the Bible is not condemning all partaking of alcohol.  In the above cases, we can see its medicinal value being upheld and encouraged.  This same principle is brought out in the New Testament….

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.  (1 Timothy 5:23)

Wine is described as one of the blessings that God has given to man to use for his benefit…

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;  And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man’s heart.”   (Psalms 104:14-15)

But it is the abuse and over-indulgence of wine that can be man’s great downfall….

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they go astray in vision, they stumble in judgment.”  (Isaiah 28:7)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, worldy jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”   (Galatians 5:19-21)

One final note concerning the partaking of alcohol…  based on the above, is it proper for Christians to moderately partake of alcohol as a beverage?  From my standpoint, this issue becomes one of conscience for each Christian to decide…  There is no simple “thus saith the Lord”.  Keep in mind are there are at least two other issues that must be considered in our decision making process in this area of Christian living…

1.  First of all, we need to ask ourselves the question “Will my partaking an alcohol start me on a path that will lead to the abuse of alcohol?”  “Is partaking of alcohol opening up an opportunity for Satan to tempt me and bring me to eventual sin?”

One thing we can know for certain.  If we never partake of alcohol, we will never become an alcoholic.  Period.  There is no exception to this rule.

However, if we do partake of alcohol, we are opening an opportunity to abuse it if we are placed in the wrong situation at the wrong time.  Satan is walking about as a lion looking for opportunities to intervene in the lives of God’s people and to bring them down.  By partaking of alcohol, we are giving him that opening…

Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil [men].  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”  (Proverbs 4:14-15)In other words, don’t even walk near to it.  Walk directly away from it.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.(1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)We are to stay so far from sin that we are not to even APPEAR to be partaking of that sin.

2. The second question we need to answer is this.. “ Will my moderate partaking of wine as a beverage cause a younger Christian to stumble into drunkenness?”

Paul presents this basic principle to us in the context of eating foods offered to idols.  Although, for the strong Christian, the idol has no real power, therefore food offered to an idol is just food; to the weaker Christian partaking of the food offered to an idol could appear to them as condoning the worship of that idol.

So too, this applies to the moderate partaking of alcohol.  To the older Christian (who understands the need for control of his fleshly lusts) drunkeness may not result.  But the younger Christian who sees his elder partaking of wine may see this same action as a condoning of drunkenness.  If this is the case, Paul makes it very plain that the liberty God has given to us is to be forsaken, so that the young Christian would not fall into sin.   How horrible it would be for any Christian to be used by Satan to lead a younger spiritual brother or sister into drunkenness!

Nevertheless there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.  But food commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your’s become a stumbling block to them that are weak.  For if any man see you which have knowledge sit to eat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;  And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?  But when all of you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, all of you sin against Christ.  Wherefore, if food make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.”   (1 Corinthians 8:7-13)

So, although I see no specific Biblical command to forsake the use of alcohol as a beverage, based upon both of the above principles, I believe the wisest course of action for myself is the total abstinence from alcohol as a beverage.   But I place this decision in the hands of the Lord and allow others to decide the best path of life for themselves…

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”   (Romans 14:12-14)

SUMMARY:

This section of Scripture presents to us the main issue of THE NEED TO CONTROL OUR FLESHLY LUSTS.   This passage uses two very common lusts our sexual lusts and lusts concerning overindulgence (drunkenness and gluttony) to present this basic principle to us.  So above all else, we are to be self-controlled and watchful because Satan is out to destroy us.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”  (1 Peter 5:8)

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 31:1-2

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

 

SIH TOTT ICONThe Proverbs Of King Lemuel: An Introduction: Proverbs 31:1-2

1) The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
2) What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

In this chapter we may have another new author, a king by the name of Lemuel.  Just like we saw with Agur, the title “King Lemuel” may be speaking of Solomon himself…

“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…
1.  First, he was used by Jehovah in the building of the temple (2 Sam 7).
2.  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).

Also, it must be taken into consideration that a King named Lemuel is not mentioned in any other historical documents.  So keep in mind that it is possible Solomon is the author of this text.

However a few things need to be noted:
1.  First of all, we are clearly told this chapter is “the prophecy that his mother taught him”.  In all the prior chapters written by Solomon we have his own words of wisdom, not the words received from a parent or other acquaintance.
2.  Secondly, just like with Agur, the style of this text appears to differ from that of Solomon.
3.  Many times historically Kings went under various names.  It is very possible that Lemuel was the name given to him by his parents, but when he took the throne of his country he took another name.  This would explain why we do not read of a Lemuel any place in historical documents.

Based upon the above, my personal belief is that this chapter was written by an author other than Solomon.

EXPOSITION:

1) The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
1.  The spoken advice of King Lemuel, which is
2.  the “mind of God” revealed through the instruction of his mother.

Lemuel will now share with us Godly advice that originated from the teachings of his mother.  Here we can see the importance of a mother’s role in bringing up a child (as well as the father and others in authority over the child)

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”  (2 Timothy 1:5)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”   (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

 

2) What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
The word “what” is normally translated “oh”.  Either translation says basically the same thing.
1.  Oh, my heir
2.  Oh, the one to whom I gave physical life
3.  Oh, the one that came as a result of the marital vows to the man I loved and which I have dedicated my entire life. Or… Oh, the one that I have vowed to give back to the Lord.

In this verse, we can see the desperation that Lemuel’s mother felt as she desired to share with him the most valuable information possible.   We can also see the close loving relationship that motivated this great desire.  She described Lemuel as:

1.  my son (my heir) – The one she was to give him all her physical possessions
2.  the son of my womb – the one to which she had given physical life
3.  the son of my vows – the one that resulted from her loving sacrificial relationship with her husband or perhaps,  she had made a vow dedicating her child to the Lord as did Hanna as she dedicated Samuel to the Lord (1 Sam 1:11, 28)

This forms the framework for the rest of our study in this chapter.  Basically, we will be learning about the advice that a loving mother is giving to her child to whom she loves very deeply.  This advice is motivated out of a concern for his future welfare and success in his future life on earth.

Also, in the following verse (and verse 4), we find his mother using kings as illustrations for her teachings…
1.  Does this mean that he was already mature and holding the position of a king when this advice was given?
2.  Or was his mother simply using well-known and admired individuals to motivate her young child to listen carefully to her instructions?
3.  There is a third possibility as well.  In those days, there were some kings who had ascended to their throne as young children.  Could it be that Lemuel was a young boy, still being trained by his mother although he was king over his nation?

We cannot know for sure.  Whatever the answer might be, the basic principle still applies.  She loved her son and wanted to see him spiritually and physically successful in life.  Therefore, she sought to teach him these great words of wisdom.

SUMMARY:

In these verses we see the role of loving parents being fulfilled in a Godly way.  If a parent truly loves their child they will do all they can to prepare that child to lead a Godly life through the teachings of God’s Word.

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 30:32-33

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Justification Of Evil: Proverbs 30:32-33

32) If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth.

33) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now elaborates on a very basic principle to live by: we are to NEVER attempt to justify sinful thoughts or actions.

 

32) If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] thine hand upon thy mouth.

1.  If we have committed acts that ignored God’s Word by drawing attention and honor to ourselves.

2.  If we have wicked motives and plans within us

3.  We must force our sinful flesh to be silent (not attempting to explain away or justify our unlawfulness)

Please take special note he speaks of what “thou hast DONE” (our actions) and also what “thou hast THOUGHT” (describing our desires and plots for our actions) both of these, when sinful, are inexcusable.  This principle does away with three different wicked attitudes that we see in the world today:

1.  The teaching that we are not to be held accountable for our actions (we are simply a product of our environment and inherited characteristics). An example of this is that abuse by a parent results in future abusive behavior by the abused child, therefore the child cannot be held accountable for the abuse they commit.

2.  The teaching that “the end justifies the means” which says that the performance of evil can be used if it is done with the motive of reaching an acceptable goal. A very popular example of this is the idea of “white lies” (ie. lies that are told with good intentions).  An example would be telling a child that Santa exists so that they might have a more enjoyable holiday season.

3.  The teaching of “situation ethics” that says the morality of our actions can only be judged in the context of the situation in which they are performed.  In other words, in some situations, sin is no longer sin.  An example of this is when we use a lie in an effort to protect ourselves.  We have all heard people say “under the circumstances, I had no choice but to lie”.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”   (Romans 3:19)

 

33) Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.

1.  Truly, when milk is forcibly stirred and pressed the end result will always be butter.

2.  When the nose is powerfully twisted, it will begin to bleed

3.  in this same way when sin is justified and pressed into society, the end result is always discord and bitterness.

With the justification of sin is an act of opposition to the Word, which clearly tells us that any act of sin is wrong and can never be justified.  This rejection of God’s word only works confusion and discord.  It is tantamount to saying that the Word is untrue, the morals of man trump the morals of the Word, and results in the eventual departure from the Word by that society.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.”   (Job 28:28)

SUMMARY:

Folks, this is EXACTLY what we see in our country today.  Because the morals found in God’s Word are questioned, we can now justify obvious sins and are in the process of rejecting the Word as a society.  May the Lord have mercy upon those who reject His Word and those who do not take a stand for its truthfulness.

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 30:29-31

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Examples For Our Walk Of Life From Creation: Proverbs 30:29-31

29) There be three [things] which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
30) A lion [which is] strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
31) A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom [there is] no rising up.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some wise examples to mimic from God’s creation…

29) There be three [things] which go well, yea, four are comely in going:
1.  There are three things that walk carefully, purposefully, and courageously
2.  There are four things that are beautiful to others as they travel

Agur shares with us different examples from God’s creation that move in a careful and beautiful way.  These will be teaching us how to pattern our walk of life in order to be favorable to God and accepted by men.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.”  (Zechariah 2:8)

 

30) A lion [which is] strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any;
1.  A lion which excels over all with their physical power
2.  He will not run in fear from any, but continues on the path that he has chosen with no thought of departure.

How should we be like the lion in our daily walk of Christ:
1.  Once we have chosen to dedicate our life to Christ (at salvation) we should continue on that path, no matter what obstacles may lie ahead.
2.  We should walk with confidence knowing our Lord is with us, enabling us, and protecting us.  We are to know that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep [forth].  The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.”   (Psalms 104:20-21)

 

31) A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom [there is] no rising up.
1. A swift one (A racing dog, or a cheetah, or perhaps an eagle)
2. A butting one (a male goat or ram)
3. A king that has his subjects willfully following His lead.

Our walk for Christ should involve:
1.  Being swift to do His bidding.  The fields are white unto harvest, we are to be about His business quickly
2.  One who takes a steady stand against the enemies of Christ.  Willing to enter into spiritual battle and firmly oppose the wicked one.
3.  Possessing a Godly testimony that is so Christ-like and appealing to others they willfully follow our example as we follow Christ.

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”   (Job 9:10)

SUMMARY:

Oh for us to be more like the lion, greyhound, ram and king.  By doing these things we will become better servants of our Lord Jesus Christ!

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 30:24-28

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Principles Of Wisdom In Creation: Proverbs 30:24-28

24) There be four [things which are] little upon the earth, but they [are] exceeding wise:
25) The ants [are] a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
26) The conies [are but] a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some wise principles that can be learned through God’s creation…

 

24) There be four [things which are] little upon the earth, but they [are] exceeding wise:
1.  Agur teaches us that his list of four types of wise creatures are typically looked upon as being insignificant
2.  yet they possess an overflowing wisdom that they exhibit in their actions.

Agur is helping us to understand a very important principle. In the eyes of the world, it is normally thought that the wisest among us are the ones with the greatest education, wealth, or position of authority.  However, the possession and exhibition of wisdom is not limited to the great.  Many times those who are insignificant in the eyes of man are the ones who possess the greatest amount of wisdom.

 

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.  Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?  In whose hand [is] the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”   (Job 12:7-10)

 

 

25) The ants [are] a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
Example #1: The ant
1.  The ants are a division of insect that are not physically strong in comparison to other creatures.
2.  However, because they are wise, they make sure they store up food in times of plenty.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome PHYSICAL WEAKNESSES.  Although the ants are weak and cannot survive winter if they had to find daily food, wisdom allows them to lay up for their winter needs.  In doing so, they can overcome their weakness to the cold by never leaving their burrows in search of food during the winter season.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to LOOK AHEAD, PREDICT OUR FUTURE NEEDS AND THEN GRADUALLY WORK TO MEET THOSE COMING NEEDS.

 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, [and] gathereth her food in the harvest.”  (Proverbs 6:6-8)

 

 

26) The conies [are but] a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;
Example #2: The rabbit (or an animal similar to a rabbit?) (the Hebrew word is unclear on its identity – for our study we will use a rabbit)
1.  The rabbit is a weaker type of animal with little natural defenses.
2.  The rabbit exhibits wisdom by living in very strong, defensible homes.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome OUR NATURAL DEFICIENCIES.  Although rabbits have weak defenses, they can strengthen their weak defenses by choosing to live in burrows made among rocks.  This makes digging up their burrows much more difficult for their predators.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to HONESTLY EVALUATE OUR SHORTCOMINGS AND DEVELOP WAYS TO FORTIFY THEM.

The high hills [are] a refuge for the wild goats; [and] the rocks for the conies.(Psalms 104:18)

 

 

 

27) The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;
Example #3 – The locust
1.  The locusts do not follow the leadership of a king (unlike bees who follow the queen etc.)
2.  The locusts have the ability to labor together as a unified group.

 

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome OUR LACK OF DIRECTION.  Although locusts have no leader that directs their movements, by wisdom they know the proper role they are to play in a group setting.  By each doing their own part, they can successfully feed themselves and aid, not hinder the efforts of others.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to HONESTLY EVALUATE OUR GIFTS AND ABILITIES.  In doing so, we can better UNDERSTAND OUR ROLE WE ARE EXPECTED TO FULFILL IN OUR SERVICE TO HIM.

 

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.  Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.  For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth [are] the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.  He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast [it] away; the branches thereof are made white.”   (Joel 1:4-7)

 

 

28) The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces.
Example #4 – The spider
1.  The spider grabs and carefully manipulates her web with her hands instead of spreading it at random
2.  The spider inhabits not only nature and the house of poor men, but in places of authority and honor as well.

There are two lessons we can learn about wisdom in this illustration:
1.  Wisdom can be used to overcome THE WEAKNESSES OF OUR FALLEN NATURES. The spider’s web is one of the most fragile, weak and exposed tools that are used by any of God’s creation.  But, in spite of their weaknesses, the spider’s web is an absolute necessity for the spider’s welfare.  By wisdom, the spider spins the vulnerable web very carefully spinning it in the most effective, strong and beautiful way as possible.  This allows the spider’s web to accomplish the task set before it and, due to its incredible beauty, allows it to be an acceptable addition to the most luxurious of homes.
2.  Wisdom teaches us to RECOGNIZE THE RESULTS OF OUR FALLEN NATURE UPON OUR TESTIMONY FOR CHRIST.  By doing this, we can see our need to TAKE GREAT CARE AND DILIGENCE AS WE SEEK TO WEAVE A STRONG, EFFECTIVE AND BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY FOR HIM.

So [are] the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:  Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust [shall be] a spider’s web.  He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.”  (Job 8:13-15)

 

SUMMARY:

We have seen in our study for today that the simple things of nature (ant, rabbit, locust and spider) can teach us much about the importance and nature of Godly wisdom.  By His grace, let us all strive to be like these “weak ones” as we live our lives to display His wisdom to a lost and dying world.

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 30:21-23

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: Great Horrors Upon Humanity: Proverbs 30:21-23

21) For three [things] the earth is disquieted, and for four [which] it cannot bear:
22) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
23) For an odious [woman] when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us a listing of some things that are great, fearful, burdens upon humanity …

21) For three [things] the earth is disquieted, and for four [which] it cannot bear:
1.  There are three things that cause mankind to violently shake in fear
2.  There are four things that cannot be borne by mankind.

In the following listing, we find things that are heavy burdens that bring fear of great harm upon mankind…

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem.  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”   (Zechariah 12:2-3)

 

22) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;
1. A bondservant given authority to rule over all
2. A person who does not apply the Word to his life and is filled with goods that please his fleshly desires.

Agur understood that:
1.  Rulers who are not prepared to rule
2.  Those who are content rejecting the Word and living to fulfill their fleshly desires…

Both are great dangers to humanity.  In both cases, they work great acts of evil by leading men astray and abusing others for personal satisfaction.

And I will give children [to be] their princes, and babes shall rule over them.  And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”   (Isaiah 3:4-5)

For I was envious at the foolish, [when] I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  For [there are] no bands in their death: but their strength [is] firm.  They [are] not in trouble [as other] men; neither are they plagued like [other] men.  Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them [as] a garment.  Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.  They are corrupt, and speak wickedly [concerning] oppression: they speak loftily.  They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.  Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full [cup] are wrung out to them.”   (Psalms 73:3-10)

23) For an odious [woman] when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
1.  A hateful, argumentative woman when she enters the marital covenant
2.  A  female bondservant who is given the position of her mistress through inheritance or marriage to the husband of her mistress.

Both of these are harmful to society by causing a breakdown in the family unit:
1.  The argumentative married person stirs up, and sustains, turmoil and unrest in the family.  Instead of peace, love and happiness ruling in the family, they only produce discord, animosity and grief to control the day.
2.  The bondservant who replaces those who rule over them will possess pride in their hearts and will cause jealousy, hatred and bitterness among others in the family.

(In many cases, the bondservant was motivated by selfishness and greed. They obtained the inheritance through deception, cunning, and the abuse of those originally meant to receive the inheritance.)

All of this is working to bring great division and antagonism between the family members.

[It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”  (Proverbs 21:19)

He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become [his] son at the length.”   (Proverbs 29:21)

SUMMARY:

When men are abused and mistreated by foolish rulers, they lose the respect and trust of those under their authority.  Instead of working for the good of their subjects leading to peace and satisfaction among the masses, their selfish actions produce only hostility and skepticism.

The family unit is perhaps the most important tool that can be used to glorify the Lord throughout the ongoing generations of humanity.  When the family unit is hindered, the coming generation is robbed of the opportunity to receive the Word of the Lord through the teachings and examples of their parents.  Instead of the family being a refuge of peace and comfort it is made into a place of turmoil and upheaval.

These things are a great danger to society and should be feared and abhorred by all mankind.

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 30:18-20

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Secretive Nature Of Sinful Acts: Proverbs 30:18-20

18) There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
20) Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

 

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us several pictures of things that are conspicuous in God’s creation …

18) There be three [things which] are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:
Agur begins this section by listing for us several acts of nature that cause wonder on the part of man…
1.  There are three things that are mysterious and undetectable in God’s creation
2.  Four things that leave no evidence for man to examine

Agur will now share with us things of God’s creation that cause man to wander and be amazed.  Why are these such wondrous acts?  It is because they leave behind no evidence for man to examine, they produce no proof of their existence.

Please note:  Normally, the term “wonderful” is used to describe things that are so great that they produce and attitude of awe and amazement.  However, in this verse, “wonderful” is used to describe “that which cannot be known” as in Job 42:3…

Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”   (Job 42:3)

 

19) The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.
1.  The eagle as it soars above the earth
2.  The reptile as it warms itself on the warm rocks
3.  The ship that floats in the middle of the ocean
4.  The man that has intimate relations with a woman

All of these things have one thing in common, secrecy….

1.  The eagle – an eagle leaves no lasting trail in the sky as it soars
2.  The reptile – a reptile leaves no lasting impression on the rocks after it departs
3.  The ship – a ship leaves no lasting trail as the water closes in burying its wake
4.  The man and maid – Their intimacy is performed in secret leaving no lasting public evidence of the encounter.

Please keep in mind, although we cannot prove these things take place due to lack of evidence, the Lord does not need evidence to have knowledge of these things, nor does He forget they have taken place.

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.  [So is] this great and wide sea, wherein [are] things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.  There go the ships: [there is] that leviathan, [whom] thou hast made to play therein.  These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give [them] their meat in due season.  [That] thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.  Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.”  (Psalms 104:24-30)

The theme of secrecy is then carried through using a sinful example of secrecy…

 

20) Such [is] the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
1.  This same principle applies to the road taken by the sinful who serve their fleshly lusts…
2.  They consume acts of sin to fulfill the hunger of their flesh
3.  They then attempt to wipe away any evidence of their wrongdoing
4.  They verbally deny any wrongdoing in the hopes it will never be detected.

Just like the eagle, lizard, ship and man, the sinful individual, many times, leaves no perceptible trail of wickedness.  Often they receive no earthly punishment for breaking the laws of God.

However, just like the above four examples from nature, although the wicked may hide their sins from man and  never face human judgment, the Lord knows these sins have taken place and will render His judgment in the last days.

For his eyes [are] upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.  [There is] no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.  For he will not lay upon man more [than right]; that he should enter into judgment with God.”   (Job 34:21-23)

 

SUMMARY:

Many times our human perspective and understanding will fail us and the deceptive nature of the sinful will seem to prevail.  However, the Lord’s perception will always overcome the deceit of lost mankind.  Sinful mankind will never escape the sight nor justice of the Almighty.

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 30:15-17

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: “It Is Not Enough”: Proverbs 30:15-17

15) The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:
16) The grave; and the barren womb; the earth [that] is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough.
17) The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

 

EXPOSITION:

Agur now gives to us several pictures of dissatisfaction and unfulfilled lusts…

15) The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], Give, give. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:
1.  The leech which is constantly crying for more blood
2.  has two others that follow its example and shares in its unsatisfied desires…
3.  there are three things that are never filled and content
4.  there are four things that do not utter “I need no more”

In this opening verse of our text, Agur sets the stage for what is about to come.  All of this section will be addressing those who possess selfish desires which are never satiated….

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:  Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”  (2 Peter 2:12-17)

 

16) The grave; and the barren womb; the earth [that] is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough.
Four other examples from nature of things which cannot be satisfied are:
1.  The grave – which will always be willing and able to receive more bodies of those who have died.
2.  The barren womb – which is constantly seeking to bear a child, yet will never give birth.
3.  The dry earth – which will always need rain to keep it moist and fruitful.
4.  The fire – needs a constant flow of fuel to extend its life.

These all help us to understand the condition of the sinful heart which is filled with lusts which can never bring true satisfaction and contentment.

Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”  (Proverbs 27:20)

 

17) The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
Agur now uses two final examples (ravens and eagles) to complete his theme….
1.  The person who perceives his father as one to be ridiculed and slighted
2.  The person who shows no respect to submission to the loving authority of their mother
3.  The ravens that live in the lush valley shall peck out the eye
4.  The eagles that have youthful strength and ability shall consume it.

Here we are told that the Lord’s judgments upon the haughty and prideful (ravens and eagles) will not be satisfied.  On the contrary, the Lord will continue to bring discipline upon those who are full of disobedience as long as disobedience exists in the world.  He will never grow weary nor lax in His judgment against of sin. His justice will never be satisfied as long as sin is unpunished.

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  (Galatians 3:10)

 

SUMMARY:

Due to the sinful lusts that dwell within all mankind, we find ourselves constantly desiring that which will never satisfy nor bring lasting contentment.  These same desires, when acted upon, bring forth a certainty of judgment from the Lord, for all sin must be judged.  Just as the sinful desires of man are never satisfied, so to the judgment of God upon those sins.  The major question for each of us is this….

Must we stand and face the judgment of God for our sins or has the punishment for our sins been paid thought the death of Christ on the cross?

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”   (Ephesians 5:1-2)

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 30:11-14

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: There Is A Generation…: Proverbs 30:11-14

11) [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
12) [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.
13) [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
14) [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.

 

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now explains some of the distinguishing marks of a generation that is given over to sin…

11) [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.
1.  There is an age that disrespects by mocking their father
2.  There is an age that does not submit to, nor wish well to come to, their mother.

There is an age that disrespects those who exercise loving authority over them.

 

12) [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.
1.  There is an age that perceives themselves to be clean and without blemish
2.  and yet they are not cleansed from their own waste

There is an age that does not perceive their sinful condition and their alienation from the Lord

  

13) [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.
1. There is an age that possesses eyes that look over others
2. There is an age that show their pride in their looks of disgust and disregard for others.

There is an age that are prideful of heart and mind to the point of contempt of all others

  

14) [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.
1.  There is an age that have sharp teeth like swords of war
2.  There is an age that have incisors like sharp eating utensils
3.  that are used to “chew and swallow up” (like eating a meal)
4.  those who are afflicted, pained and tormented
5.  and those who lack necessities of life

There is an age that will abuse the defenseless, poor and suffering for their own personal gain.

SUMMARY:

Some outstanding marks of a generation that ignore the principles of God’s Words and live lives according to their sinful lusts….

1.  There is an age that disrespects those who exercise loving authority over them.
2.  There is an age that does not perceive their sinful condition and their alienation from the Lord
3.  There is an age that are prideful of heart and mind to the point of contempt of all others
4.  There is an age that will abuse the defenseless, poor and suffering for their own personal gain.

Please keep in mind, these attitudes existed throughout human history.  However it does appear as if these type of attitudes are increasing gradually over time.  These types of prideful, selfish, carnal attitudes are said to take place before the second coming of Christ….

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”   (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

 As we look around us at the world in which we live, may we humbly bow before our Lord and ask Him to intervene and grant salvation and wisdom to the sinful generation in which we are living.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in [their] heart; and they have not known my ways.  So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”   (Hebrews 3:7-12)

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 30:7-10

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Desires Of Agur: Proverbs 30:7-10

7) Two [things] have I required of thee; deny me [them] not before I die:
8) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
9) Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].
10) Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

EXPOSITION:

Agur now explains the desires of his heart in an effort to set an example for each one of us…

7) Two [things] have I required of thee; deny me [them] not before I die:
1.  Agur brought before the Lord two requests that could only be fulfilled by the Lord
2.  He then asked the Lord to bestow both of these requests upon him prior to his death.

a.  We can see in this text that Agur understood his great need of the Lord in his life.  Agur recognized that only the Lord could give him what he was requesting, he was unable to supply these things for himself.
b.  Secondly, we can see that he was a patient man who understood the Lord blesses in His timing not ours.  Agur was willing to wait his entire lifetime for the Lord to answer his request.  His only desire was to see the Lord’s blessings come upon him before his passing.

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:27-28)

8) Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
The two requests of Agur:
1. drive away from me worthlessness and deceitfulness
2. bestow upon me the proper supplies that will be properly measured to fill my needs (I am not asking to be kept in a condition of want nor am I asking for overflowing wealth )

Agur desired of the Lord both spiritual and physical supplies:

1.  Spiritually, he was asking the Lord to make his life count in his service and allow him to live honestly life.
“Vanity” means worthlessness, waste, or nothingness.  He is saying that he wanted to be kept from wasting his life by chasing after worthless, spiritually valueless pursuits, or creating a worthless testimony through deceitful living.

2.  Physically, he was asking the Lord to meet his material needs (to avoid excessive need or excessive wealth).  Why didn’t Agur desire great wealth?
He knew that great wealth opens up great avenues of temptation, which when submitted to, can lead to a wasted life of carnal living.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”   (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

 

9) Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].
Why didn’t Agur desire great wealth or desire poverty?  He knew that evils would come from either…
1.  If he has an abundance of wealth, he will be perfectly satisfied and deny the role of the Lord in his life.  He will think himself to be self-sufficient with no need of Him.
2.  If he lives in a constant state of need and lack, he will be tempted to take the belongings of others and curse the Lord for not meeting his needs.

We can see, in all of this, that Agur’s true desire was to please the Lord with his life.  He knew a big part of his success would be based on the avoidance of temptations that can lead to sin and a ruined testimony.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”   (Matthew 6:13)

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.”  (Matthew 26:41)

10) Accuse not a servant unto his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be found guilty.
As Agur begins to teach, he reminds us of the ill effects of being over-critical of others…
1.  do not slander a bond servant
2.  he may wish evil to come upon you and bring disrespect upon you through his speech and actions
3.  this will cause others to find fault with you as well.
How can we apply to the previous verses in this text?  This is another desire of his heart.  As he taught the Word, he desired for his students to look at their own lives and their need of the truths of God.

Agur knew how easy it is for us to hear God’s Word and then apply the principles, in fleshly way, to find fault in lives of others.  This can make us feel better about our own shortcomings.  But as Agur taught, he desired for his students to hear his words and seek to apply them to their own lives.  He did not want the teachings of the Lord to be used to make carnal, critical, false judgments based upon our own fleshly motivations.  This should always be one of our concerns as we hear the teachings of the Word.

SUMMARY:

May the Lord bless us with the same set of Godly desires as shown to us in the life of Agur.

May we all desire for:
1.  our life to be God honoring
2.  our needs be met
3.  we avoid temptations that can ruin us
4.  His teachings to be used to change our hearts and lives and bring us closer to 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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 30:5-6

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

 

The Proverbs Of Agur: The Word Is Impeccable: Proverbs 30:5-6

5) Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

In this chapter we may have a new author, a man by the name of Agur.  Very little is known about this man but, from the context of our text, it seems as if he is a teacher who is instructing his two students Ithiel and Ucal.

As Agur begins to share God’s Word with us, he reminds us of the exclusivity of the Word… it is perfect, all-encompassing and is exclusively backed by Divine authority.  No other teaching whether in written or verbal form can begin to compare to it.  This is why we should listen to his message very carefully…

 EXPOSITION:

5) Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Agur now shares two motivations for us to follow the Word of God that he is revealing to us.
1.  The speech of God is perfectly refined (with no error)
2.  God is a protector of those who put their confidence in him

We are to follow his teachings (and all the Word of God) because:
a.  it is a perfect message that proceeds from the One that deserves all of our worship.  Why do we owe Him our undivided devotion?  Because we owe our physical and spiritual life to Him (He is our Creator and Redeemer).
In other words, we are to follow His Word because WE OWE IT TO HIM.

b.  God is the One that meets our every need as we look to Him in faith.  One of the greatest tools He uses to supply our needs is through the teachings found in His Word.
In other words, we are to follow His Word because IT IS OF GREAT SPIRITUAL BENEFIT TO US.

6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Agur continues to explain the sanctity of the Word.  When this sanctity is violated there are two devastating results.
1.  Do not expand to His Word or attempt to improve it in any way
2.  He will convict, chasten and correct us
3.  We will be revealed as a deceiver

Folks, we should take great heed to this warning from Agur.  There are many dangers that await those who attempt to in any way change or augment the Word of God.  This principle is declared throughout both the Old and New Testament portions of the Word…

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.   (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Moses warned the children of Israel of the need to be certain to not change the Word in any way.  This includes adding to it or diminishing it (taking away from it or changing it).

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.   (Revelation 22:18-19)

As John penned the final book of the Bible, he brought the revelation of God to an end and gives the fateful warning to not add, nor take away from Divine revelation in its entirety.

We should never think that Agur, Moses or John’s warnings only apply to their own individual writings.  This warning is found throughout the Scriptures helping us to understand that the entire, inspired Word is included in this grave warning.

Think of it this way, if we limit this warning to the writings of the individuals who are giving the warning, we are by implication, saying that the others parts of the Bible can be added to, taken away, or changed.  These warnings are not found in every book of the Bible, therefore do we have the right to change those books?  Absolutely not.

And yet there are those who claim that the Word can be added to today. Their reasoning is that the warnings we have looked at only apply to the books of Deuteronomy, Revelation and the Proverb that Agur wrote.  Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable for them to add their own “revelation” to the mix.  How sad.

Please do not fall for their message of deceit.  When they say “God has given me a new message” or “God has revealed to me a new truth”, just rack it up to Satan, turn from the messenger of error, and turn back to the Word for Godly instruction.

Why is this warning given, and why is it such a “big deal” if we purposely change His Word?

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.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

In this text, we are to look to the Word is the God-given tool that would perfectly, thoroughly gives us all we need to serve the Lord in a way pleasing to Him.  From this text we can learn several different truths:

a.  The Word is a completed revelation.
If there were still portions to be revealed to man it could never result in men being described as “perfect (complete)” and “throughly (fully equipped or finished being equipped)”.  If we were waiting for the final pieces of revelation to come to us, it would be as if we are waiting for the last pieces of equipment to be supplied to us as we prepare for spiritual warfare.

(The Word was completed around 100 AD with the writing of the last Biblical book, The Revelation Of Jesus Christ which was given to the Apostle John.  From that point forward we have had the complete revelation of God given to man.  As such, we now have the ability to be throughly furnished for spiritual warfare.

b.  Since the Word is our source of “equipment” for spiritual battle we dare not add to it, take from it, or change it in any way.
If we do, we are making the equipment God has given to us less effective for our spiritual warfare.  After all, there is NO WAY we can be improving what God has given to us, therefore our “changes” must deteriorate its effectiveness.

c.  Finally, by changing His inspired Word we are, by our actions, stating that we know better than the Lord.
If we add to it, we are saying that He didn’t give us all that we need.
If we take away from it, we are saying he gave us what we did not need.
If we change it, we are calling Him a liar and we need to correct Him.

In all three of these changes, we are calling Him imperfect, sinful and beneath us.

SUMMARY:

In these verses, Agur helps us to understand the importance of his teachings (as the very Word of God) and the importance to not change God’s Word in any way. God’s Word is the perfect Word of the Lord given to equip us for spiritual warfare.

If we present untruth under the guise of the Truth, we are hindering His service and blaspheming His person and Word.   Therefore, we all must labor to come to a proper understanding of the Word and then clearly present it to others.  In doing so, we are equipping ourselves and others to be fully equipped to do the work of the Lord.

This is what Agur was doing for his students and for each one of us.

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