Month: March 2019
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise in heart will receive commands,
But a prating fool will fall.
9 He who walks with integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will become known.
Once again, notice the contrast of the righteous, the wise in heart, and the one who walks with integrity verses the mouth of the wicked, the memory of the wicked, the fool and the one who perverts his ways. Obviously, these characteristics are nothing new but have always and will always describe mankind.
As you look at these characteristics, the contrasts, and the results, identify those around you and those in the culture who identify with them. This makes me understand that all of those who live in wickedness, foolishness and perversion will not end well. Regardless of how successful they may appear, or how loudly they promote their way, or how many people agree with them, they will not end well. Their perversion will become obvious and all will know just how wicked and foolish they are.
From the many lessons on this contrast we who strive to live in wisdom, sometimes alone, should remember that we are doing what is right. We should remember that pursuing wisdom is always the right pursuit regardless of who else is following wisdom. Furthermore, our lives and our end will genuinely be better when we pursue wisdom and reject foolishness, wickedness and perversion.
We are thanking God for Sunday. It was a joy to have Justin bring the message to our church. As he spoke from Hebrews 10 on the necessity of the church to the Christ-followers, the people were attentive to the Word of God. Our music team worked hard to bring the church to sing together. It was a wonderful day together.
Yesterday, we took the family to Taman Safari in Bogor. It was an amazing day of really enjoying God’s creation. I would recommend this trip to anyone, it was awesome! We have more pictures than we could possibly post so I will put some out over time and on Facebook. Here are two from the day. Taman Safari is a drive through safari (zoo) that brings you up close and personal to non-life threatening animals, we had several animal heads in our car coming after our carrots, as well as seeing, with windows closed, very dangerous animals as we drove through lions, bears, rhinos, and alligator sections of the park. It was amazing.
Have a great day in the Lord
2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing,
But righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
But He casts away the desire of the wicked.
Many movies and stories are written and acted out that depict those who make huge profits from wicked practices. Most of the time, in the story anyway, the bad guy who makes the money from wickedness ends up arrested, dead, or broke. While this makes for a good story line, Solomon gives this warning to us all. Down through time money has been made from wickedness. Today there are so many investments available that we have to be careful where we invest so that we avoid profiting from wicked businesses. More than sharing in wicked profits, Solomon is letting us know that those who make money through wickedness are not to be envied. Their lives, though comfortable and plush will not go well in every area.
In contrast to the treasures of wickedness, we are told that righteousness delivers from death. So, what is better, a life without real profit or a death with great profit? What we see here is wisdom beyond what the eye can see, the hand can touch, or the tongue can taste. Remember the song we sang last Sunday taken from the Psalms. “Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in our house than a thousand elsewhere.”
The parallel statement is that God will not allow the soul of the righteous to famish. Do you find it interesting that Solomon speaks to the level of the soul which is deeper within than the normal appetites and desires of the flesh? Have you had money in your pocket but been hungry in your soul? Have had no money in your pocket but had God’s peace in your soul? While I would prefer both, some money with me and God’s peace in my soul, I get the writer’s point. Peace in the soul is of greater value than the pursuance of all types of human desires.
We went to the zoo yesterday. It was a beautiful day to go and the boys, even Jared, loved it. For some reason, the monkeys got vocal and made really loud noises for a long time. We played tug-of-war through the cages using sticks for a rope. It was all great fun.
This Sunday, Justin will be bringing the message here at JIBC. I look forward to our church getting to know him, Katelyn and their family. Pray for us, last night we met a man for a second time, and he brought up questions about the difference between Catholic and Christian and Orthodox. He is from Bangladesh and is open to meeting again. Pray for Sunday that God will work everywhere that His word is opened and proclaimed.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1.The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
When we read the Proverbs, we can apply these wisdom sayings a couple of ways. This one has two pretty clear applications: the first is a human son or daughter to their parents, the second is our human lives to our heavenly Father.
Since I remember first being a son to my human father, I came to understand this proverb in relationship to my actions toward him. When I acted foolishly my father was not glad. In fact, just the opposite would happen. In my foolishness I would bring grief to my father and my mother and would face their correction for my foolishness. Contrariwise, when I acted in wisdom toward my father, I would enjoy his gladness toward me. This became very clear to me so that I determined to act in wisdom toward my dad enjoying his gladness over me. Then when he praised me for acting in wisdom my heart would swell with joy.
Before long, this parallel then became evident toward my heavenly Father. The greater challenge with Him was that He knew everything I said, did, and thought. The desire to live in wisdom toward Him presented a greater challenge. Nonetheless, I knew when I was bringing gladness to my heavenly Father and I knew when I caused him grief. This is not a difficult concept but one well worth our time and meditation. I have to ask myself this simple question: “Do I, by my choices in life, make my heavenly Father glad?”
Yesterday our son Justin, his wife Katelyn, and their boys, Joel, Hudson, Owen, and Carson landed in Jakarta. They will be visiting with us for ten days. What a joy to wake up this morning to the boys smiles and energy. We have already gone for a walk, eaten breakfast, and are now getting ready to go swimming. Tomorrow we are going to the city zoo, Rangunan Zoo. (For you non-Indonesians, look it up on Google.) I will be sure to post some pictures tomorrow.
Have a great day in the Lord,
13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18 But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.
In light of today’s emphasis on open sexuality, the normalization of sleeping together, the weakening of the marriage promise of faithfulness, and the willingness of men and women to pervert their minds sexually, this passage of wisdom literature needs to be given close attention. Let’s skip discussing veses 13-16, they speak for themselves, and let’s focus on vs 17-18.
What is it about “stealing a kiss” or “a secret affair” that excites the senses? Going back 3,000 years Solomon describes the offer of “bread eaten in secret” as being “pleasant.” There is something within our sinful nature that always likes to get away with something. As a young teenager I would look for ways to steal little things from the store or from someone’s house. When I succeeded there was a sense of devious accomplishment. From secretly watching pornography to having a secret relationship, the devious side of us understands that “bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
However, this devious satisfaction going to be short lived. For the moment this devious pleasure is discovered we know shame and embarrassment for getting caught. Solomon went a step further teaching us that when we succumb to this devious pleasure we are setting our lives and our souls up for the destruction of death and of hell. Those who live in devious immorality, and all immorality at all levels is devious, are setting themselves up for the death of relationships and for eternal separation from God himself.
Let us not be simple in understanding. Let us be fully aware that secret sexual pleasures do not lead to strong trusting relationships but just the opposite, they lead to death at several levels. When we are confronted to eat stolen bread in secret places, let us remember the words of wisdom that this stolen bread will turn to poison in our stomachs and bring ruin that we cannot overcome. Yes, God created us sexual beings, and yes, God provided a holy place, marriage, for these desires to be righteously fulfilled. But know this, any sexual activity outside of marriage will not end well for it is not God’s design.
Yesterday we had a visiting music team lead us in our music worship. Pak Asido and his friends did a wonderful job of bringing us into their music and lifting up our Lord together. We are going through 1 John and yesterday we looked at chapter 3 verses 2-3 how that when we see Christ we will be like Him for we will see Him as He is; we are to therefore purify ourselves just as He is pure. This is a very practical message for our time. If you missed it you can find it at https://sites.google.com/jibc.or.id/jibc/sermons
For those in Jakarta, I asked yesterday if anyone had an adult bicycle or tennis racquets that I could borrow for two weeks. If you do, please let me know. As I mentioned, my son Justin, his wife Katelyn, and their four boys are coming in tomorrow to be with us for ten days. We are looking forward to this time with them, but not nearly as much as the boys are looking forward to coming to Indonesia.
Have a great day in the Lord,
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
Why, do you suppose, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? Solomon makes this statement several times in Proverbs so there must be something to this teaching. When I was a young child under my father’s instructions, there were times that I did what I was supposed to do only because I feared his chastening hand. That chastening hand was both loving and firm. I never doubted my father’s love, nor did I doubt that he would correct me if I did wrong. Is the fear of the Lord at all similar to what I felt under my dad’s upbringing? If we feared God’s corrective hand are there actions we would avoid? Perhaps, the fear of the Lord is the fear of His just discipline. If the only reason we followed the Lord was out of fear of being corrected, we would avoid a great deal of trouble.
But do notice that the fear of the Lord is only “the beginning” of wisdom. When we begin to obey out of fear of correction, we will soon mature and obey out of love and respect. Ultimately, we will learn of God and the knowledge of the Holy One will give us insight to life. As I got older, I no longer feared my father’s correction, but I then respected his knowledge and sought to learn from him. When we learn from God about Him, that knowledge will guide us from foolishness into wisdom.
Then, verse 11, as we follow wisdom, we gain better days of life and more years to live them. Many stories have been written about a “fountain of youth” or about ways to live longer and better. Solomon puts it simply: fear the Lord and learn about Him and you will add better days and more years to your life. Verse 12 tells us that when we practice wisdom, we do it for ourselves. In the end, we are the primary beneficiary of our wisdom choices. Conversely, when we act in foolishness, we will bear the pain of those choices. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
I met with a man today who wants accountability regarding his life choices. We talked about many things and committed to meet twice a month to ask each other questions about what we are doing and how we are doing. Do you have a friend that holds you accountable, a friend that sharpens your life when you get together? This man made a wisdom choice today and I will appreciate our getting together as well.
As it is Friday I ask again that you would be in prayer for ours and your church services this Sunday. We are looking forward to a great day together as we welcome new men and women into our church membership. We are thanking God for the people that He is bringing into our church to work together for His kingdom and glory.
Have a great day in the Lord,