Tag Archives: WOrd of God

Wisdom, Women, Wine and Woes

Proverbs 20-24; Solomon continues to speak of Wisdom, beyond just knowledge and facts, but the proper implementing of what is known = wisdom. There is a constant contrast in the Proverbs between the Wicked and the Righteous – the wicked scoff at wisdom or life teachings and lessons,; whereas the righteous learn from and pursue understating of life and our Creator God through the wisdom insights about life. In Christianity I have found that many people/believers know  plenty “about” the scriptures, but lack the understanding of the relevancy to life, more specifically their own life.  Foolishness seems to be the dominant characteristic of the unredeemed. You and I have been accosted by people who think they know better than anyone else or the facts. “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is death.” Wisdom, the great desire of Solomon and the gift from Jehovah; Solomon as we find in Ecclesiastics has the ability to TEST all that the world has to offer and measure it against the knowledge and wisdom of God. In the end Solomon says that all is vanity – the truth is fear God and live Holy, that is what really matters.

Solomon uses almost a “barb” sometimes in these Proverbs to expose the wily desires and destruction of the wayward woman or wife. Two time Solomon talks about a “contentious woman/wife.” I wonder at this point how much Solomon was exposed to the inordinate wishes of His some 1000 women? Scripture indicates that he entered into many of these “marriages” for political reasons and alliances with neighboring lands. But Solomon speaks of the “temptress” who seeks to have a love affair with men, only to enact their downfall. Speaking of which – even this year there have been many men brought low because of the temptress tactics – both politically and spiritually. I wonder sometimes about the motivation and desires of the #metoomovement? I do understand and support the equality of women – I am a complementarian; we are all equal before God [Gal. 3:28], however God in His wisdom has outlined and identified the specific roles for men and women, especially within the Church body.

Moving on, the Wine topic. Scripture tells that Kings were not to drink “strong drink/wine” but the bible does not prohibit drinking of wine – only the excess of wine. I know this is a hot topic for most believers with a conservative position on the Bible; but let the scripture speak not the wiles of often misguided clergy. It is obvious to all of us that a drunken man/woman is obnoxious and usually a vagabond of sorts. Solomon ties the lazy or sluggard to one who has a lifestyle of drinking; especially in Proverbs 23:29-35. We live today as in the past in a cultural society that does not know or adhere to a “balance life,” but rather swings from one extreme to another. I personally do not drink – I know what it does to me [experiences from my youthful/rebellious days] and have chosen not to drink at all. I hold to what Apostle Paul said – he would refrain from his liberty if it would cause a brother to stumble.

The last W is woes – the sorrows for living out of the will of God. The unredeemed bring upon themselves by their choices a condition of consequences for their actions. I hear too often when things go wrong in life, the first place ridicule and blame is put is on God in Heaven. I know that God is long-suffering and compassionate; but I also know He is just. While there is forgiveness with the Lord – we are not to expect that the actions we put in motion will be wiped away. The Wicked will have woe, the Christian will also have woes, if they disobey the Word of the Lord and Wisdom.

So in life we are accountable for our actions; yes we have a battle with the flesh – but the Word of God, a pure Heart and a righteously motivated life God will bless. I cannot blame the Heavenly Father for my own rejection of His Word. God loves all, not all loves God. Yet He is willing that none should perish. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Simple enough, yet so many stumble over what God has written.

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Testimonies, Precepts, Statues, Commandments and Ordinances

Psalms 119 Aleph -Zayin; We begin looking at the longest chapter in the Old Testament. Psalms 119 is divided into the Hebrew alphabet.

Note The writer, usually considered to be David, registers his delight in the Word of God in an unusual way. The psalm consists of twenty-two sections each of eight verses. Each of these twenty-two sections features a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For instance, each of the eight verses in the first section begins with the Hebrew letter ‘Aleph’. Each of the verses in the next section begins with the Hebrew letter ‘Beth’. And so it goes through the entire Hebrew alphabet.
While this psalm deals with many aspects of the Word of God, two major themes emerge more forcefully than any others: why we should value the Word of God and how we show that we value the Word of God. [Roger Ellsworth, Opening up Psalms, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2006), 23.]

Looking at the language the writer uses to describe the Word of God, indicates the multi-faceted way the scriptures are presented. A word of caution at the onset of Psalm 119, a person could easily look at the words and declare a “legalist” is writing. We cannot allow ourselves to skew the perspective as a religious fundamentalist. The writer is just trying to convey the manifold design and beauty of the Word of God in as many ways as he can.

Additionally, some important thoughts  from Logos research –

IT GIVES LIBERTY (v. 45). Sin always promises to bring freedom, but it only creates bondage (2 Peter 2:19). It is the truth of God that brings true and lasting freedom (John 8:32).
IT PROVIDES DIRECTION (v. 105). We live in a dark, perplexing world that offers us many paths. If we are careless about the paths we choose, we invite misery and ruin. The Word of God provides the direction we need. It is like a light shining in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19).
IT PRODUCES UNDERSTANDING (v. 130). Our walking and understanding are inseparably linked. In addition to shedding light on our path, the Word of God enlightens our minds so we can discern what we ought to do.

A second major emphasis in this psalm is this: how we show that we value the Word of God.

Studying it
Firstly, we will study it diligently. God’s purpose in giving his Word was to point us to himself. We are, therefore, to seek him through his Word (v. 2), and this seeking is to be done wholeheartedly (vv. 2–10). We are to ‘look’ into his Word (v. 6) and to learn its judgements (v. 7).

Obeying it
Secondly, we will obey its commands. The duty of obedience is set forth in these verses in several ways: walking in the law of the Lord and in his ways (vv. 1, 3), keeping his testimonies (vv. 2, 129), and taking heed to our ways to make sure they correspond to the teachings of God’s Word (v. 9).

Storing it
Thirdly, we will hide it in our hearts. This means we are to store it in our minds and treasure it in our affections with the confidence that it will fortify us against sin (v. 11). G. Campbell Morgan summarizes this verse in this way: ‘The best book, in the best place, for the best purpose.’

Declaring it
Fourthly, we will declare it to others (v. 13). Studying the Word of God will cause our hearts to burn within us (Luke 24:32) in such a way that we won’t be able to keep it to ourselves. We’ll be anxious to share its message of salvation with those who don’t know Christ and to discuss its teachings with fellow Christians.

Rejoicing over it
Finally, we will constantly rejoice over the Word of God and delight in it (vv. 14–16). We must not miss the connection the psalmist makes in these verses. The rejoicing of verse 14 and the delighting of verse 16 are connected by the meditating of verse 15. As we reflect on what the Word of God is and what it does, we will find the rejoicing and delighting to be inescapable. [Roger Ellsworth, Opening up Psalms, Opening Up Commentary (Leominster: Day One Publications, 2006), 25–27.]

In our look at this Psalm, we will be confronted with many verses that compel us to embrace the Word of God as our own. Words like  meditate, hid, observe and others that tell us to make the Bible – God’s word to His people personal. People are not without instruction and knowledge of the Will of God. He has communicated to us through prophets OT/NT so we may have full revelation of His nature and work.

Statutes means laws, commands, decrees, directives – how we are to live

Ordinances means legislation; but can mean prohibitions and restrictions; think of the Mosaic Law and dietary laws

Precepts – general rules of behavior or thought; wisdom and doctrine could also be used

Testimonies – this is a direct reference to the work of the Lord, creation, deliverance, intercession, mercy and grace to mankind and specifically Israel and believers

 

 

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